When I was asked to write and record some prayers of intercession for our church service next week, I queried if there was anything specific they wanted. The reply came back:
“If you could record prayers covering:
Those in need
Those who are suffering
Our local Community
Our families and friends.”
Wow, that’s quite a big topic I thought, where to start?
And, to be honest, I struggle with praying about the big issues – you know, things like global warming, international politics, that sort of thing. I mean, they just seem so … big. It’s hard to know how to pray effectively.
Then there’s the small issues. Here I’m on firmer ground – more practised perhaps. I believe in a God whose love means He is invested in what may seem the most unimportant details to others but matter to us, as any caring parent does. And I am used to coming to Him with my concerns for my family and friends. But leading others to do the same – feels different.
But I was saved by this week’s Five Minute Friday prompt word https://fiveminutefriday.com/2020/09/24/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-your/. It gave me a new, hopeful and inspiring angle to take when I considered that I/we would be praying to God in this way:
“Lord, this is
Your people in need
Your people who are suffering
Your family and friends.”
Add to this the fact that God doesn’t just love the world from a distance but has come and been part of the nitty gritty of it in Jesus, Who knows what it’s like to suffer and be in need – and my perspective changed.
I found I was no longer looking down at a vastness of problems, wondering what difference I could make with my prayers, but looking up at the vast possibilities of God’s love. And from there, wondering which of the concerns laid before Him, He was asking me to be part of the answer to.
And the prayers I have written and recorded are no longer an expression of hope tinged with helplessness but of trust and partnership.
(If you want to hear the prayers – and the rest of the service – check out https://www.facebook.com/Fleet-Methodist-Services-101521864819531 Sunday 4th October 10.30am BST)