One day, I tried listening to myself while praying and came up with a list of the most commonly used words found in my prayers. On top of them are the words “I, me, and my.”
“Thank you Lord for guiding me and for putting my schedule in place. I hope that you give me more wisdom and please give me the strength that I need. You know how much I want to pass my interview tomorrow. Please help me answer with confidence. I really want this and I hope that you grant my request. I am also in need financially, please take care of my needs, Lord. ”
Praying is our personal time with God. From the word “personal,” most often than not our prayers tend to revolve around us — our needs, our thanksgiving, our wishes, our requests. We like to pray for ourselves. Imagine praying everyday and God hearing I, me, and my all the time. Of course He will never get tired of listening to us, but imagine the joy we will bring to Him when He hears us pray for other people as well? How about dedicating a day or two in a week to pray for them? — for the people we cherish, for those we seldom see, and even for strangers, including the person that God has meant for you to meet in the future. Praying is an expression of love first to God, and second to the people we pray for. It can be a friend, a family member, a loved one, a classmate, even a person we don’t like, or a stranger on the streets. In short, we can pray for anyone!
“Thank you Lord for guiding my mom and for putting my sister’s schedule in place. I hope that you give them more wisdom and please give my father the strength that he needs as well. You know how much he wants to provide for the family. Please guide him in his decisions. I also pray for my friends. I may not see them too often, but I pray that You stay by their side always, and may their hearts find joy in You alone. I pray for my workmates. Bind us together and help us rise from the challenges that come with our daily tasks. Finally, I pray for everyone I will meet today and in the coming days. I don’t know who they are yet, but I know You have a purpose behind every encounter, every time you put people in our path. Please help me accept them as they are.”
Praying for other people is an expression of love and selflessness, a reflection of how much we value our relationships and the future blessings God has in store for us. God is pleased when He hears us say thank you for someone else’s blessings or when we ask for His favour on behalf of our brothers and sisters. He is interested to hear us pray for someone else as much as he enjoys hearing our “I, me, and my” prayer. Growing together entails praying for each other. There is power in togetherness, and I would love to believe that the prayers we lift up together are echoed to the heavens much, much higher. We can start by praying for one person, and then another one the next day, until we realize we’ve already prayed for more people than we know. And the only thing left for us to do is wait in excitement to see how God will answer each of those selfless prayers.
We at TLW invite you to take this moment to pray for that person in your mind right now.
Guest post by Carmela Ann Santos, TLW Volunteer