Earlier this week I heard a politician, say about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian mother who is being held in prison in Iran, ‘my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.’ The cynic in me thought, ‘yes I’m sure you are thinking about Nazanin and her family, but are you actually praying about the situation?’
No sooner than I had allowed that opinion into my mind I was convicted by my own thought. How many times had I said to someone that I would pray for them, and because of various circumstances, all legitimate of course, I hadn’t done so? Sadly, far too many to recount! Certainly the good intention was there, but somehow it hadn’t always translated into practice.
How about you? Have you always prayed for someone when you said you would? Some actions in life come naturally to healthy human beings, like breathing and blinking, but prayer isn’t simply doing what comes naturally. Just think about it, how natural is it to have what seems to be a one-sided conversation with someone you can’t see? No wonder Jesus’ disciples asked to be taught how to pray
Prayer isn’t easy, at least not for me; it takes time, commitment, perseverance, energy and a refusal to give up even if you feel your words are not penetrating the plaster in the ceiling.
Is there someone you have promised to pray for and haven’t (yet)? Someone who is in ill health, who has a difficult decision to make, or who is suffering grief and loss? Over this coming week can you take some time to bring them before God? It doesn’t have be a lengthy prayer, but a simple cry to God.
To all of you reading this, you are in my thoughts and prayers; now I need to put that good intention into practice.
Have a good week praying for one another,