Monday, March 10, 2008

I Am Praying for You...

"I'm praying for you." I have said this or had it said to me a million times. Sometimes, it seems to have become trite. I wonder how many of us actually follow through and pray for the person we say those words to. The reason this struck me today is because this was in the closing of an email from a good friend. Normally, I would skim across the closing and move on to the next email, but because this email was from my friend J, I paused knowing full well that she meant what she wrote. See, I know she is a modern day "prayer warrior".

We don't hear that term used very often today. Perhaps it is because these saints of prayer are vanishing. I have been fortunate to have many "prayer warriors" in my life starting with my Great grandmother Stroman. When visiting her as a little girl, I remember peeking in her bedroom door. She would actually be on her knees beside her bed petitioning God out loud on our behalf. Some days she would call me in to join her. Of course my ADD would set in and within seconds and I would begin to "squirm", as she liked to call it. Finding it more than difficult to keep my eyes shut, I would eventually leave. These memories of my great-grandmother praying are a part of her legacy to me.

My grandmother Hancock was also vigilant in prayer and meditation. Her life was spent in ministry with my blind grandfather. She was a prime example of a life totally surrendered to her faith. Between the two of them, I know they logged hours upon hours in prayer for family, friends and the church.

Then there is my mother. Oh to have the discernment and grace that defines her life. Though I know it may be difficult to believe, I wasn't the easiest child to raise---I still am not. You could make an argument that this fact alone would bring her to her knees, but that isn't the case. No matter what trepidation life has brought my way, I KNOW that my mother has been praying for me—in that thought alone, lies great strength.

Mom doesn't take prayer for granted. She is a student of prayer. She extensively reads, writes and speaks about this topic. I am cognizant of the fact that my mother prays for me. She would never need to tell me because I know; yet she often verbalizes it to me anyway. She doesn't simply say, "I am praying for you." She says, "Marsha, I am praying that God….". Herein lies her resolve. She knows the secret. Praying specifically is as important as the act in itself.

We often disregard the power of prayer and the effects of meditation on our lives, yet I am positive that the prayer of Godly people in my life has been extraordinarily powerful and effective (James 5:16). Oh to be the kind of warrior of those faithful who have gone before me. I long to be worthy…

This I know for sure…

5 comments:

anniegirl1138 said...

Prayers warriors abound in my family. My dad's mother and her sister Liz. His two cousins who are nuns. His second oldest sister. He was in charge of the prayer line at his parish for years and years. My parents are huge believers in prayer chains and power prayer. I believe in myself but do not ever often to pray for someone else I know I will and I do that only every so often. I am a bit played out after years of relying exclusively on faith. Perhaps I will apply myself again in future.

Ali said...

Airy-fairy doesn't do it for me, so if I say I'm praying then I am, and I'm specific. One of my pet church hates is when the person leading in prayer says "We pray for......" and leaves it at that. I always feel like yelling out "WHAT do we pray for .......?"

If I said to a friend "I'm talking to you about....." and didn't add anything further, they'd think I was even nuttier than usual, so why do we think God is any different?

Sorry to use your comments as a little rant space, but there you have my thoughts!

Ali

Lisa said...

Prayer is such a mystery to me. Like you, I was fortunate to have true prayer warriors in my family. My mom and my grandma both prayed every single day for me (and Rich--even before I knew he existed!) And I believe in some way that they are still interceding for me and my family--only now they are much closer to the throne.

In the same way, my daughter seems to have a direct line to God. When she prays, he answers. Every time.

Me? Not so much. Interestingly, the prayers that I find most authentic and effective are the ones in which I'm wrestling with God, telling him why I'm not happy with him at the moment.

A few years back, we did a great book about this: "I Told the Mountain to Move," by Patricia Raybon. It might be a good one for your book group. This topic is definitely discussion worthy!

Gayle said...

Just a note to say Congratulations on your wedding tomorrow! We haven't met but I feel like I know you from reading your blog and your messages on the board. Thank you for lighting the way .

TGLB said...

Happy Wedding Day, Marsha (and Kent). I don't know you, but I've been excited for this day for you nonetheless. Best wishes to you and your new combined family.