Please don’t say you will be praying for me, for crying out loud, just stop. My cavernous need for prayer over the last three years put my name on more prayer lists than there are mosquitoes on my porch.
Goodness those prayers strengthened me when I couldn’t drive or walk, when I couldn’t speak and when I couldn’t breathe. God restored my health and my voice and in faith, I believe He will restore my broken life. But even if He doesn’t, I will praise Him.
Psalm 50:23, “It’s the praising life that honors me.” MSG
Sweating at the gym
My spirit was dusty and dry in the 100+ degree heat and
sometimes a lot of times, my flesh gets bossy. Covered in a few yards of Spandex, I spotted a friend. Though we don’t spend much time together and I forget she’s younger than my daughter, I treasure every moment we have a chance to talk. We don’t hang out in the same circles, but she’s seen inside the deep breaks in my heart. Feeling safe, I confessed my struggles. I try to only tell my story, not my side of the story, just my story, but it’s not pretty.
She could have responded, “I’ll be thinking about you.” Or she could have “sent me some positive vibes.” How exactly does one send a vibe and what is it anyway? Of course the PC Christian thing to say is,
“I’ll be praying for you.”
How often do we thoughtlessly say that? Okay, here’s a grammar lesson: “I will be” is future perfect progressive tense (don’t be impressed, I looked it up). Simply put, when you tell someone “I will be praying for you” you are committing to ongoing action in the future. How many times do we commit to that?
Jude 1:20, “But you, dear friends, as you build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit,” HCSB
Sweat ran like class III rapids off my face. I had dinner plans so I expected to shower after a class at the fitness center, but the reason for my perspiration was unexpected. Lunges and crunches didn’t cause it, no, it was radiating heat from Arkansas asphalt that opened my pores.
Instead of committing to pray for me, my friend did something really gross. She stood right next to my under-deoderized, post-workout self and draped her own sticky, sweaty arm around my shoulders. Right there in the parking lot. Not where the cars park mind you, but out in the middle. Head bowed, eyes closed, she prayed for me. Out loud. She prayed about my situation, my mind and anxious thoughts; my heart and it’s wandering; my flesh and it’s rising. She prayed I would worship, she prayed scripture over me. She prayed me right into the presence of the King. Right there in the middle of the 100+ degree, hot-enough-to-fry-an-egg parking lot.
So far, I haven’t been the same since. The needle on the scale stayed put last time I checked, but nevertheless I feel lighter.
Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” NIV
Here’s the deal, two people can carry an object too heavy for one. I knew the truths she spoke and the verses she prayed. You know I encourage others and teach how worship ushers us into God’s presence. Good grief, I tried to pray for myself but I couldn’t. Until then. Maybe if she had gone home and written my name in a journal labeled “prayer requests” I would have felt the same, but I doubt it.
Ecclesiastes 4:9, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” NLT
Don’t say you’ll pray for mePlease don’t tell me you will be praying for me. Just do it. #Prayer Click To Tweet
I’d be honored to pass along what she transferred to me that day. Except not the sweat.
Can I pray for you?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for placing people in my life to walk with me through the rough spots. Lord you know the need of every eye reading these words. You know the hurt, You know the pain and You know every anxious thought. You invite us to cast our cares on You, so Father I ask You to take every care and every concern and lift it from this dear one’s shoulders. Carry our burdens because we aren’t strong enough to carry them ourselves. And thanks for showing up in a little skin and sweat.