Several weeks ago, our pastor preached a sermon that we watched online from home. I forget why we didn’t make it to church that morning, but I like to think it was God’s plan, because I ended up crying a bit of an ugly cry during the message. ;) He talked about how we pray for others and how we handle burdens that aren’t our own. It hit me hard, and I’ve been thinking about it for weeks. I am very quick to tell people “I’ll be praying for you.” And truthfully, I do. “Lord, I pray you’ll be with So-and-So. Give them strength.” And that sometimes, ashamedly, is as far as it goes. I’ll glibly utter a quick prayer when they come to my mind for a week or two, and then I go about my way, forgetful and selfish. At the heart of his message, Pastor Hance read from Nehemiah chapter 1 and walked us through Nehemiah’s prayer for the people of Israel. Chapter 1, verse 4 tells us that when he heard about the burdens and challenges of the Israelites, he sat down and wept for days – mourning, fasting, and praying. Pastor Hance challenged us to pick up the burdens that some people pass by and cover them in prayer…serious, involved prayer. Getting involved in the mess of others can be difficult and even painful, but it is good to remember how Jesus did that for us. He picked up our messes and burdens and bore them all on a cross. I’m thankful for a Lord who takes on our problems, and I long for a heart of prayer that follows His example!
It’s funny how God will sometimes suddenly open your eyes to see certain things from His perspective. He has brought a number of people to my mind the past several weeks, and I am picking up burdens and covering them, not in small, easy prayers that end in seconds, but in powerful, intentional prayers.
I hope your Monday is filled with good things, and if not – here’s some pretty encouragement. :)