Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Prayer Rollercoaster

Praying for a happy and blessed birthday today for my favorite twins, Cyndi Reep Browning and Teresa Reep Tysinger! May your days be full of joy and celebrations. I just wish I could be with you both...

I should begin this post by saying that I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that God hears all prayers and answers all prayers- even if sometimes the answer is wait or no. I pray everyday for the health of my family, and for blessings in our lives and in the lives of our friends and loved ones. I go to God everyday in the name of Jesus and ask Him to intercede in the lives of friends who are lost and hurting, or who have special needs in their lives. I am a pray-er. I believe that prayer changes people, changes lives and changes the one who prays.

But having said all of that, I have a confession to make. There are few things in life as frustrating and confusing to me as trying to determine the hows and whys of when and where God chooses to intercede. I understand that God is in control. I know it is not our place to determine God's plan, but tell me truthfully- doesn't it sometimes seem random to you? Human nature makes me want to have a tried and true method that produces results we can see and understand. Prayer is not always like that. Because of this, it is easy to feel like some days my prayers are changing the world, while other days I feel like quite powerless. It's what I call the Prayer Rollercoaster

My history as a youth pastor and my ministry through this blog and on Twitter has put me in a position where I receive many prayer requests. I do my very best to honor each of them, lifting the needs of others to the throne of the Father. The range of these requests is enormous. Lately, for instance, I have prayed for several friends who needed new jobs and another who was seeking a promotion. There is a young man in prison I have been holding in the Light for several months now. I have prayed for a number of marriages and other relationships that are broken or in trouble. I have prayed for a family to be reunited and for friends who are away from home for long periods of times. I have prayed for youth groups that are struggling and old friends that I miss terribly. There have been prayer requests for those having surgery and those suffering from illness. And last night there were requests to pray for those stranded by winter weather. And always there are prayers for my family and for my own forgiveness. I love my prayer time. But as a real person, there comes a time when I must stop and take stock of the answers received. My heart soared to the top of the roller coaster this week when I learned of new jobs offered and accepted, and promotions received. I felt encouraged as marriages seemed to take on new life and broken relationships became less contentious. But those wonderful moments are so often followed by the plunge. A young woman losing her battle with cancer and passing away. A mother losing contact with her children. A long job search continuing with very little hope in sight. A husband and wife deciding to call it quits. A friend who still has not found the hope that comes from knowing Jesus. Just like with a roller coaster, the big drop is scary and often leaves me breathless. The plunge frustrates me to no end. I prayed hard for those folks, as did lots of others- and yet they are still hurting. Why do some prayers seem to bring positive results so quickly and easily, while others seem - I know they don't, but they SEEM- to fall on deaf ears?  

And at least for me, the answer is I don't know. I know scripture commands us to pray. I know that God is God, and I am not. It is not my task to decide which prayers receive what answer, any more than it is my task to pass judgement on the sins of others. I was taught a long time ago that we are called to faithful, not successful. We are called to trust God, and know that He will act. In other words, prayer is not about me, it is about faith in the One who created me and saved me. So I will keep praying. If there is anyway I can pray for you, please let me know. The rollercoaster may be scary sometimes, but it is also a ride that is not to be missed, and a blessing that is meant be shared. And please- pray for me as well!

Because of Jesus,

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous1/29/2014

    pray for you everyday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much. :)

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