“I printed out your prayer and….”
These days with electronic media playing such a huge role in all of our lives….if you are like me, you receive from time to time a plea for prayer from someone you care about or concerning someone that you don’t know at all. It could come as an email or a message on facebook. It could be individual and personal or your name could be one recipient among many.
You have a few options at this point:
- Ignore it.
- Respond with the typical “I’ll be praying for you” ….In this case, there are two potential scenarios: you actually remember to pray for them or you forget to pray and then feel guilty later….which is so often the case for me.
- A third option is to actually take the time to type out a short prayer and send it to your friend….If you choose, you could send it out to all the other recipients in hopes of encouraging them to do the same.
I do option 3 from time to time. This past week I was able to make face to face contact with a very good friend that sent me a plea for prayer several months ago. Not only were we able to talk through the situation but she concluded by telling me that she printed out the prayer that I wrote to her and still pulled it out every now and then when she needed it.
Since our conversation, I have been thinking about how much more “effective” this third option is. I put “effective” in quotes because….well, I mean who can say when prayer is effective? Any prayer is directed to God….He hears it and really doesn’t need it written down or even spoken for that matter.
But, because I followed the tug of my heart as I read her facebook message and tapped out some words onto digital media, my friend….
- knew that I cared about her and that I actually prayed for her
- knew how intensely I felt and how boldly I prayed
- was able to refer to my prayer repeatedly
- was perhaps inspired to write someone else a prayer
Personally I think it helps to write good prayers….not clichés….but prayers that are a delight to read…full of metaphor and poetry…..that touch the heart deep inside. That’s why I read the wonderful prayers of others such at these two books that I’ve already highlighted elsewhere on this blog:
To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings by Irish poet, theologian and mystic John O’Donohue. Check out my post with words from the author’s introduction.