(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)
We’ve been talking about prayer this week — big prayer —prayer against the forces of evil, prayer for suffering refugees, prayer for God to intervene in these destructive movements of history — prayer to send angels. It is important not to belittle the importance of this kind of praying. We play a role in God’s plan for the world. Why else would He ask us to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven? That’s no small thing. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18). “Keep on praying for all the Lord’s people …” that’s a pretty big group right there! These kinds of prayers are significant and necessary for God’s work to be done in the world. Don’t let anyone sell you short on this. Your prayers are holding back the works of darkness and bringing light into the world.
And then there are the more specific prayers for wisdom, for healing, for overcoming bad attitudes, for hurting relationships … these are usually prayers for individuals and individual needs. This, too, must not be taken lightly. How often have you told someone you would pray for them and promptly forgot to? Happen a lot? One way to keep this from happening is to stop and pray right then. But then, you’ve got to keep on praying. That’s what our prayer warriors do, and they want to know later on what happened. They follow through. We are not just blowing hot air here. We are harnessing the greatest power in the universe. Like Pam Mark Hall says, “We are disrupting the universe.”
Today — just about now in fact — my daughter, Anne, is going through the second major surgery in three weeks. Three weeks ago it was a hip replacement; now it’s a complete redo of her shoulder. The doctor didn’t know the shoulder surgery was going to be this soon until he looked at the M.R.I. He’s calling it emergency surgery if she wants to have the use of her right arm for the rest of her life. So I’m asking all of you to take this on in prayer. Pray for skill for the doctor, for the overcoming of any obstacles that may come up, and for her recovery which we hear will be quite painful. And pray for her emotional well-being which has been stretched to near breaking with the loss of her beloved dog two weeks ago on top of all of this.
Prayer is a big responsibility. Are you up to it?