Sunday, February 13, 2011

Praying is Loving ~ Prayer Lesson #3

“You can love this kindred-spirit family by praying for them.”  Those were the words that closed a recent email telling of the death of an 18 year old young man as a result of a car accident.

The words of my friend who sent the email rang true to my heart.  Praying is loving.

Several weeks ago when I learned of the stroke of another friend’s daughter, my “doing” mentality immediately kicked into gear.  I am a practical person.  I thought about meals that this dear family would need.  I thought about errands that needed to be run.  I thought about laundry and ironing and cleaning.  You get the picture.  What practical thing could I do to lift my friend’s load?

Yes, I would also pray.  That was a given. But prayer was something in the background that happened along with everything else.  Or so I thought.

I did begin praying with and for my friend daily on the phone and on-line.  We were enjoying wonderful fellowship with God together.  We were trusting God together.  It became something that we both looked forward to.  Praying for and with my friend was my gift to her.  This was God’s plan that I contribute in this way.  Praying with my friend was loving her. As time went on I realize there didn’t need to be more.

We began sharing specific Scriptures as we were praying.  That led to talking together about the Word and how it was relating to the right now.  I could see both of us growing as some previous perceptions were being challenged and changed.

For me what was being changed was my belief that prayer was enough.  Prayer was my gift to my friend.  Prayer was deepening our friendship more than anything else could, our friendship with each other and our friendship with God. 

Then the identity crisis struck!  I knew others were contributing in other ways.  I knew meals were being delivered.  I knew flowers had arrived.  I knew a special account had been established to help with the bills. And I could list many more ways people are serving. But for some reason when I learned of the creative gifts that my friend’s daughter was receiving from perfect strangers it was like prayer wasn’t enough any more.  Not true!  But that’s what I began believing in that moment. 

Once again, time to check in with my identity.  I am the beloved child of God.  A beloved child whose heart’s desire is to encourage other women in their relationship with God.  Praying with and for my friend was doing just that.  I was living out my identity. 

You know, to be honest, I would have gotten tired of providing meals.  I’m glad others are contributing in that way.  And I’m thankful that others are using their creative talents and their financial resources and expertise to contribute and encourage my friend and her family.  My gift of love is prayer and sharing the Word.  That is enough.

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,”  Romans 12:4

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