July 27, 2018
HOW TO PRAY FOR OTHERS
There is a very special young teenage woman my wife and I have known and loved for quite a while. She has an amazing heart for the Lord. One warm day, not so long ago, I had the privilege of baptizing her in the Atlantic Ocean. It was a memorable moment for both her and me. So it broke my heart when I received the following email question from her: “How can I help someone who is broken spirituality, mentally, and physically? I know people say to pray about people like that, but there, at least, has to be another way. So many of my friends are going down a path about to snap, and I can only hold it together for so long. It’s breaking me. I know God has a plan for me, and I'd like to believe part of it is helping these people.” I personally have witnessed so much pain and loss of hope in our youth today, that this email almost broke me!
I wanted to rush off some very wise sounding, “Pastor Reply,” Instead, I asked God every day for weeks for His answer to this cry for help from our friend. As so many folks over the years (including me) have wanted, this beautiful soul desired an answer that would immediately fix things for her and for others. No such solution came quickly to me. Isn’t that just like God? Then, one morning, God called me to hear His answer to her cries. This is what I heard and wrote back to her. Please listen as you read. This reply to her may help you as well Dear Reader, as you wait for His answers to your hardest questions of Him.
“My dear sister in Christ, I have been praying for the ‘right’ words to give you. As I reread your words once again this morning, I saw this line you wrote literally jump off the page at me, ‘...I can only hold it together for so long. It's breaking me.’ Those words opened my heart to what God wants you to hear. So let me answer your question in a way that you may not expect; with Godly direction.”
“First, God wants us to WANT to help other people, especially hurting people, but He doesn't want us to become broken as we try to help the broken people in our lives. Sometimes, we cause ourselves so much frustration because we THINK we know what people really need or want, and when we can't get them what WE are sure they NEED, we become broken hearted and discouraged. We even can become angry with God and that hurts OUR relationship with Him. That has happened to me a great deal in my life and my ministry.”
“Then one day, about a year ago, God taught me a very valuable lesson on just this subject. In fact, I delayed publication of my new book, A Man Of Miracles, for several months so that I could include a chapter near the end of the book I titled, "Gordon." It is about this very subject. Here is the main theme of that chapter and the lesson for us to learn from these situations that God often puts us in. WE need to be asking God FIRST, what should WE be praying for when it comes to the broken people we will come into contact with along the way in our life's journey. I have learned that this is a much better practice than ME deciding what others may need, and then ME praying for it, or ME demanding that God hear and act on MY prayers for someone else. I have learned the hard way that God knows better than we do and He wants better for all of us!”
“No matter what our intentions are in prayer, to be a truly effective prayer warrior, we need to have God's leadership...even if that Godly leadership makes no sense! In the end, remember that God created the people in our lives that we pray for and want to help. He was their Father long before we were their friend, mom, dad, brother, sister, or child. Never forget, that God loves these folks more than we do and He is anxious to help them in ways we cannot imagine. Sometimes, actually ALL the time, God's plan is so much better than what we could ever plan. I know we love to celebrate and sing, 'I did it MY way,' but we should really let Him do it His way!” Trust me on this one, from experience, His Way is always better!"
“Maybe the biggest challenge for you today, is to trust yourself and others into God's care. That is where our faith comes into play. Trusting God...never easy I know, but totally essential if we really want to see God work miraculously. When you pray next time...maybe right now...just give this broken person and yourself, completely over to God's perfect care...and then let go of it and let God handle it ALL. Each time you see this person, think about this person, or hear about this person, simply pray; ‘I trust you God to care for this person and for Your will to be done in them and me. I have FAITH in You God!’"
Right now, Dear Reader, I am praying that we ALL will do just that! I really pray we will.