The Power of Prayer - 5-26-22 1

Greetings Prayers,

I did not think that I would be writing so quickly after Tuesday’s newsletter. But circumstances in our country caused me to reconsider and so I write. It is all too fresh on most of our minds what took place on Tuesday in Uvalde, Texas. At last count, 19 children and 2 teachers were killed at an elementary school by a young man who was only 18 years old. This tragedy has struck an already sensitive cord because many of us are parents or grandparents, and many of us have young children in our lives who are near and very dear to us. And we all see how very, very wrong and evil this was.

After trying to find out more information, and yet at the same time grieving in my spirit, I decided that I needed to go onto Facebook and encourage people to pray. I wrote of the sadness within my heart and the senselessness of what happened. I wanted to also encourage people to pray. Being absolutely transparent – I could not write those words. My thoughts kept taking me to the many other senseless tragedies that seem to continue to take place in our country – and it suddenly stuck me that “I’ll be praying for you/them” has become a kind of standard, go-to phrase in the English language when one doesn’t know what to say or do. “I’ll be praying for that” can often times be as empty of meaning as “how are you”. 

“How are you?” Do we really want to know how a person is doing or are we just being nice, appearing to be thoughtful and concerned?  What would happen to our day if when asking “How are you?” a person actually said, “I’m so glad you asked…..I need to talk to someone.”? A few of us might actually panic, not knowing what to do. There might be some willing to talk with the person but it will become obvious that our time is limited.  After all, we do have other responsibilities.  Others may defer by suggesting that “we get together sometime for coffee” and go on our way. With the busyness of our lives, the expected response to “how are you” is “fine” or “doing ok”. No one needs to know that you are lying when these responses are said.

However, I digress. Tragedies like this bring out a plethora of emotions in people. Without question, there is the intimacy of emotions for those who lost loved ones; and then for those who were the first responders; and for those living in a small, close knit community. I will not even try to articulate the pain and heartache they must be going through. But, how about the rest of us? Even before the sun set on Tuesday, the finger pointing began. This hit me front and center when I was sent me a link to a news report that aired profanity laced tweets by a member in Congress. His comment about prayer was graphic and his opinion was, “{prayer} hasn’t worked for the last 20 mass shootings….” I understood. Did not appreciate his profanity, but I understood this man.   

As pray-ers, how do we deal with or listen to the angst, pain, frustration, anger of those we follow on social media, news outlets or within our own spheres of influence? As pray-ers, I hope that we can all attest to the power and comfort of prayer, and to its importance especially when we have nowhere else to turn. But, we’ve also seen the “watering down” of its meaning…….I’ll pray about that sounds flat to a large segment of our population. It becomes a conundrum for the believer who wholeheartedly and regularly spends time in prayer and trusts in its power to now come in contact with one (regardless their faith) who in the moment wants to turn their back on God. The pain is so tremendously great, how can there be a loving God? We’ve all heard this at times, whenever a senseless, painful tragedy takes place.

If I can but encourage in you one area……….please stay firm in your practice of, and belief and faith in prayer. People in pain may not want to accept the fact you are praying for them; but I guarantee with every fiber within me that they will feel the effects of your prayers. We might never hear how; however, I do know that we might have the opportunity to hear a person much later on say, “I don’t know how I got through that time.” We know how. It was the power of prayer. Sometimes, the Lord will bring people into our paths to minister to them directly. We need to make ourselves available to those opportunities, whenever they come our way. Others may need that “safe space” to vent their pain. It will look and sound ugly.  Pain is ugly. What that person may be needing is simply your ministry of being present. Do not judge. Realize you have been given a great treasure of interceding more deeply on their behalf. 

I am so grateful for each one of you and your commitment to prayer.

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