I am sitting here at my favorite writing spot…”Jack” my tiny tabby is “making biscuits” in my lap and making it hard to move my left arm to type…my kids are off to school…clothes are rolling around in the dryer. I am tired, really really tired. But I don’t want to waste the day by going back to sleep for an hour. So here I am. There is something that I have wanted to share since last week – and so I will.
Let me set the mood first though…It is cloudy and gray outside again. I don’t know why, but I was getting used to blue sunny skies…I almost had a feeling like maybe the pleasant shine would stay around for a while. Silly me. There are some things that I should have learned from years and years of experience. I should know better by now than to depend on things or people who live by rules that I can not nor will I ever understand. Yet, I cannot help my eternal optimism. Some may think it is stupid of me to expect change for things that I have no control over. I admit it, I don’t have control. But God does. So I will keep being the eternal optimist.
The vision out my kitchen window mirrors how I am feeling. The trees are budding and leafing out…things are changing and growing…an unseen wind is moving things around bit by bit. And the sun is still up there. It hasn’t left. It won’t. It is constant … it is just covered up at the moment. Just because I can’t see it right now does not mean it is not doing everything that it needs to be doing to make sure that Life down here keeps on keeping on. And God made it, so it is good.
I know from experience that it will be sunny again, and probably…hopefully… soon. I don’t understand why things do or don’t happen sometimes. But I am going to keep praying that “God’s Will be done.”
My Pastor’s devotion this morning focused on the verse “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:14-15.
Last week, Holy Week, was beautiful in every way. I got to take some long walks…and that isn’t new…but what I did while I walked was different for me. I didn’t think about all of the things that I want or need to do, or make plans. Instead, with every step I took I prayed. Intensely and intently.
Have you ever walked a labyrinth or a prayer path? I have never done one, but my understanding from others who have is that unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path in and one path out. There are no dead ends or false paths. Labyrinths may be set up in a large room, but often they are outside in a garden setting. Participants walk through at their leisure and hopefully use the time for reflection and meditation. It could be a time to escape distractions and “noise”…in hopes of drawing closer to God.
That is how my walks have been lately. My prayer path is not a labyrinth, but the street of my neighborhood. But unlike my usual hodge-podge of random junk that pops into my head, I have intensely and intentionally been praying. And my prayers are…”God Bless__________”. And I name everyone that I can think of…and if I know a particular problem or concern or praise then I elaborate with a more in-depth prayer for that person. And thoughts of that person inevitably lead me to someone else…it may be a relative of the first prayer recipient, or a friend…then another person comes to mind and a prayer of blessing is offered up for them. I can easily do this for the hour that I walk.
But I discovered after a couple of days of doing this “prayer walk” that I was actually a little bit discouraged because although I knew a lot of people, there are SOOOOOO MANY people who I will never know! My sphere of influence is a pinch of sand in a desert. So many people need prayer…but I don’t know them. I can’t see their faces or pray for them by name.
But as I was feeling a little depressed at the thought of how many people may be in desperate need of prayer with no one to pray specifically for them, I had an “AHHHH HAHHHH!” moment. We have all heard of “6 degrees of separation”…or the “small world experiment”. Whether it is an urban myth or mathematically substantiated, we are without a doubt inter related and connected. Even a complete recluse would know of or be known by someone!
So this is what I want to share with you: God doesn’t expect us to pray specifically for a person that we have never heard of! If during our prayer time it was revealed to us that “Pasha in the Ukraine was suffering with depression and needed to find a support group and a church and find a wise doctor that could prescribe 45 minutes of day of cross-fit exercise to boost her endorphins instead of becoming addicted to anti-depressant medication” that would be AWESOME! But if we knew things about a person that we had never met or never heard of …that lives half way across the world! then that would make us omniscient…like God. But we are not all-knowing, so we need for someone who knows Pasha to pray for Pasha.
We do know a lot of people…who know a lot of people…who know a lot of people. Are any of these people praying people?
What if we, you and I, took prayer seriously? What if you and I believe so strongly in the power of prayer that we committed to share that message to everyone who will listen? What might happen if we encouraged others to pray for everyone that they know? And they did the same? And so on and so forth?
What if I prayed for someone in Texas who prayed for someone in California who prayed for someone in Moscow who prayed for Pasha’s cousin? And Pasha’s cousin “get’s” the power and importance and prayer? And prayed fervently and unceasingly for God’s help for Pasha?
One small pebble tossed into the lake does not enter the body of water without consequence. There is an energy that can be seen as the object enters. A circle is formed around that place and then another circle around that and another around that. What once was still has been changed. The vibration has been felt. One small pebble did that…but not on its own. It’s had to become part of something much greater.
Now imagine another pebble entering the water…and another and another until there is not one unaffected or untouched area in the body of water. The entire lake is covered in ripples of energy that are colliding together and lapping over one another.
One heart-felt prayer could be like that one pebble. It has an effect. It has a power and all of the changes that it is making may be out of sight…may not visible from where we are standing…but changes are happening.
What if we all prayed heart-felt prayers, never-ceasing, thrown out for God to do with them as He Wills…for all people that we know…and all the people that they know…
Imagine a world where every person in every corner was covered over by the power of prayer.
Wow. That would be beautiful. Can you imagine the peace? Can you imagine the Good Will?
Will you do your part? Will you try this “small world experiment” with me? Starting today? How about now?
Pray for everyone …friend or enemy…in joy for praises or in sorrow for hardships. When you are driving, when you are exercising, when you are showering, when you are making supper, when you are walking to your car, when you are standing in line at the store, when you are waiting at carpool, when you are working in the yard, when you are falling to sleep…any alone time or mundane time train your thoughts to say “God bless __________and _________ and ….everyone that comes to mind.
What would our world look like with the Holy Power of prayer moving all around us, covering us, washing us, renewing us, quenching us, forgiving us, healing us, blessing us….I don’t know. But I want to see it. Please pray with me. God bless you.