Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17
We walked through the children’s home on a prayer walk, being instructed on how to pray at the various locations: the entrance of the home, the playground, the library, the toy room, and the rooms for the boys and girls. Kneeling on the floor in a room covered with pink and purple, tears overwhelmed me.
I thought of my own daughter, the one leading the prayer team, who once had a room covered in pink and periwinkle blue. I thought of how her dad and I have prayed for her and still do and how God loves and cares for little girls. I thought about the prayers offered for the twelve or more girls we were praying for and how they didn’t have dads who prayed for them.
Jesus, do you see them? Do my prayers matter? I felt small and insignificant in the moment, that my prayers didn’t matter on behalf of these children. Then God reminded me of how he’s been revealing himself in dreams to Muslims throughout the Middle East (Dreams and Visions by Tom Doyle). I was challenged that if God saw and cared about Muslims by name, He cares for the orphan by name. He cares whether I pray for the orphan or not.
He cares about everyone for whom you and I pray. And he wants us to pray without ceasing. I came away from our recent trip to Mexico challenged and convicted.
- I’m convicted of the complacency we Americans Christians have become.
- I’m convicted of the measly things I pray for.
- I’m convicted I can impact others if I pray more about things that I am burdened by and for people who need God’s intervention.
- I’ve convicted I should pray without ceasing…..by turning off social media, TV, and other distractions so that my mind can be engaged in prayer as I go about my day.
I’m challenged by other things:
- I’m challenged that God works more when we petition him, because this is what He desires.
- I’m challenged to rejoice first (a post I wrote here).
- I’m challenged to do more with what I have– mind, body, and spirit–to make a difference for the one….the one I pray for, the one I can help, the one to whom I can give the truth, grace, and compassion of the gospel.
I share these convictions and challenges with you to spur you on. How can you rejoice? How can you pray? How can you engage your faith to make a difference to those around you?
People in your sphere of influence need you.
Will you join me in rejoicing? In praying without ceasing? And expecting God to answer our prayers for even the one person we can influence?
Lord, teach us to rejoice and to pray without ceasing. Show us who you desire us to pray for, and prompt us to do so, Holy Spirit. Amen.
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