If you’ve been praying awhile, you know that your prayers often fall infuriatingly flat.
In fact, I have a relative who prays diligently, day-and-night, and she recently told me that she must be cursed because whatever she prays for, the opposite always seems to happen.
But just because we don’t get what we pray for, doesn’t mean that nothing happens.
If we pray with purpose and on purpose - especially when we pray for others, like our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and classmates - we will experience something. Stuff happens.
- Our interest piques (people become more interesting)
- Our investment grows (people get more of our time)
- Our influence increases (people begin to listen to us)
- Our attitude improves (we enjoy people more)
- Our assumptions change (we judge people less)
- Our apathy disintegrates (we lean into people’s lives)
We become the kind of people that are on mission with God; the kind of folks that God enlists to lead people onto the Way of Jesus. We develop empathy and compassion and intentionality in our relationships with others.
And this is why we’re called to pray for others.
So here’s your challenge for this week:
Pray behind three people’s backs.
Take your noticing skills to the next level. Notice three people (can be the same ones from last week, or totally different folks) and secretly pray for them. Don’t ask. Don’t pray out loud. Instead, before or after you encounter them, silently pray for them, perhaps in reference to something you’ve noticed.
For example, let’s say you notice a mother at the store, and her kids are acting up. Pray that her kids will behave, that she will have patience and peace, and that people will not call her out for just trying to do her best as a mother.
Or perhaps you notice someone who is working hard, maybe on a road crew, and they look exhausted. Pray that they will be safe and have the strength to make it through the day. Then pray that they get good treatment on the job, and good rest and support from home.
See how this works?
Notice three and bless them. Go!