At 1p.m. Eastern Standard Time which is 10a.m. Pacific Standard Time, an alarm goes off on several devices. For me, it is my phone. Our family has committed to praying for one another at this specific time during the week. We pray at other times, but this time is reserved just for our family. We are sometimes pleasantly surprised by circumstances and a couple of us can actually call so we can pray together.
As I study more about mom’s condition – it would seem that all of a sudden I am in the company of many others in the same situation – and I am asked to pray for these folks. Here is my conundrum. The Bible says much about prayer:
- James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
- Colossians 4:12 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
- Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
But, what am I supposed to ask for, especially as it pertains to mom? Healing? Comfort? Restoration? At this moment, we have older friends who we know are in their last days and of course, we are praying for them. A couple of them are already over 90! Realistically, the aging process can’t be reversed, nor can the effects of some chronic illnesses or injuries.
Here is what I have found. I tell God all. He wants to hear what is in my heart about those for whom I pray not my finely crafted, eloquent masterpieces of oration that would please an English teacher. One of my favorite episodes of “Elmo’s World” (I have a grandson who loves Elmo) is a Christmas one where Elmo can’t figure out what to get his goldfish, Dorothy for a gift. So he goes to visit Santa who thinks Elmo came to sit on his lap and share his Christmas wish list. Imagine Santa’s surprise when all Elmo wanted was Santa’s suggestion on what Elmo should give Dorothy!
The practice of prayer in my life especially now is simply to practice the presence of God (A book of the teachings of Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Carmelite monk is aptly called, “The Practice of the Presence of God” – great read!). Prayer is living the moments in each day with God – being aware of His presence as a friend and companion but with power and awe as the Almighty.