It sounds selfish, but praying for others is my lifeline to God. It all started with a news story. Remember that one about the muslim turned Christian girl, about the court case? I was reading Blink by Ted Dekker at the time, it is now my favorite book, but anyways it has a lot to do with the persecution of muslim women. God and I wrestled over that girl for a good two hours in those woods. There was anger, pacing, tears, and desperate hand shaking at the heavens. It was the best two hours I’ve ever lived. I left those trees as I left her at the feet of God, I left those trees with a peace that passed all understanding. I won’t say that I’ve left all of my passionate pleading times with peace- I haven’t. There have been times when I’ve left with full hands and an empty heart because I refused to let go and let God. There have been times when I’ve left His presence after delivering Him an earful and never stopping to hear what He has to say. I’m not proud of those times, but they’re a part of my journey. They’re a part of my growing to be like Christ.
And then there are those times when He says wait. A little over a year ago I decided to pray for the same person every day for a year. I won’t say there weren’t days I missed, but overall I stayed pretty faithful to this. Months passed, nothing seemed to change. I had sent this person a note saying I was praying for him, telling him it looked like he was at a crossroads, but that I couldn’t make the choice for him. I clung to every bit of news; lifted him up in prayer. Exciting changes started to happen just after I had begun to give up hope. He actually started trying, you could see the difference. Church began to matter to him. My soul about exploded with joy, and I ran to the Savior with praise. Nobody’s perfect, and he’s had his struggles since then. He’s in college now; I need to be more faithful in praying for him again. I’ve heard some thrilling stories about how God’s using him in big ways. I pray that he stays true. This experience brought me so much closer to God…to see Him answer my heartcry for this person that I really cared about. You can’t pray for someone and not start caring even more.
I don’t need all my questions answered, I don’t need perfection in my prayer life, but I need to pray for others. I need to see them as God sees them, and then to pray protection over them. I can’t fix them, I can’t fix their problems, I can’t fix their hard lives, but I can pray. You know, I didn’t struggle with the concept of hell until I start thinking about those I know who aren’t going to heaven. I don’t live in a vacuum, there are people I know and care about that are headed there. Let me tell you, that induces hard-core praying. The deeper I look at those around me the more my heart swells with what some call mercy. I just want to hug them, tell them it’s all going to be better…but it’s not. Life hurts. Life hurts and my outlet for all that hurt is prayer. I leave the load at His feet because I can’t carry it; I don’t understand the whys, He does. It’s like walking blindfolded, praying about stuff that seems unfair. God allows everything that happens to happen, and trusting isn’t easy. It isn’t easy but it is good.
I don’t know how to end this post. My journey with this hasn’t ended yet; I have much to learn and many more journeys yet to embark upon. I recently started praying for another person that matters to me. He could be such a powerful light for God. And then there’s the other person I promised I would pray for this month last year. He’s miles away now, I never hear any news. I have to trust God, I planted the seed, and I have to trust that He sent someone to water it. I pray for people who have the same struggles as I have. I pray and I trust and I hope and I dream…and I pray, because praying for others is my lifeline to God.