answer your own prayer

Ok today we are back to the sweet spot of this space, stories.

This week we talked about broken relationships in home church. We talked about where we see them in our daily lives. There were a few examples of people in their work place or their extended family, standard stuff.

But as this discussion is going on I get a text from a good friend. They work with youth and a youth they know was being sent back into a ‘volatile’ situation as she put it. She wondered if we could pray for the young person.

As all good Christians do I said yes.

But is that enough? It is enough to simply think good thoughts and ask God for good to happen?

And then God kicked in and it dawned on me I should check in with my friend. How was she doing? Yes God wants to bring help, peace, and safety to the young person but what about the darkness and stress that my friend was left with?

You’re probably better at this than me but I can really easily miss that side. A gentle, caring person asks for us to remember someone in need but who remembers them? Who’s sending the text on their behalf to ask for someone to pray?

I struggle with prayer a lot. We’ll talk more about I’m sure in the future but there was a thought Rob Bell once said that has stuck with me and I think is just so core to the life of compassion.

He said “what if you are the answer to your prayers?”

Read it again.

I’m thinking to myself that I should pray not just for the young girl but my good friend. I was thinking it sounds like she’s had an awful day and probably needs a little peace and light and hope in her life today to.

But what if that peace and light and hope was supposed to be me? What if God’s answer to my prayer for my friend was for me to love my friend?

This all took 45 seconds in my mind and I sent back a text saying “what can I do to help?”

She said like most “there’s nothing you can do”

But feeling like I needed to answer my own prayer here and not abdicate my responsibility and my relationship with this friend and hope God would do something I pushed. I said “Bah, nonsense of course there’s something I can do. Dinner? Bottle o’wine? Vent?”

“How about tea and a visit with you and Sarah?”

And my prayers were answered.

God has placed us in relationship and community to be the answer to prayers. He can and at times does intervene in a supernatural way. But I think He likes to use us. I think He likes to partner with us and have us share Him. Share His light and love and grace in the darkness that comes into people’s lives.

Your life of compassion is one where God is calling you to be an answer to peoples prayers in your relationships and your community. Maybe next time don’t ask God to fix it but what does he want you to do to help bring light into the darkness.

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