Writing about expectations the other day reminded me of story.
It was a Sunday morning and my father was preaching. I have no idea what he was talking about. I’m sure it was stirring. At the close of the service, I’m not sure how it happened but a group had gathered at the front to pray for my dad. He’d been ill for years at this point.
It was a passionate group. They prayed with depth and hope and cried out for God to move.
After they were done a wise friend came up to my dad and said “there’s a lot of pressure on you now isn’t’ ere?”
Didn’t see that coming.
I have a very close friend who deals daily with a persistent illness. She told me that she no longer ask for prayer at her bible study. She did for a while and people were full of passion and hope for her, but as she continued to not get better she started to feel uncomfortable asking.
She felt that everyone was tired of praying the same prayer and frustrated with HER that she wasn’t better.
I’ve felt this way a bunch. You can see the eyes roll before you even ask. Somehow the choice of God not to move slowly became the result or choice of the one being prayed for.
It goes like this.
Pastor teaches people to pray. Pastor tells people that God is good and full of grace and hope.
Pastor gets ill. People pray.
People pray. Nothing happens.
How long until people get frustrated? How long until they not only question but question the pastor?
How long until the bible study stops praying with passion and hope for the ill. How long until they are frustrated and tired of the same pain and same despair every week? Seriously how long can someone expect us to keep praying for them and supporting them when they’re ill? Life and people have to move on, right?
Your life and focus might change and shift and to be honest the ill person’s life has changed too because once they had community and support and now by simply being ill for too long they lose community too.