I have several friends going through difficult times or facing major changes at the moment. I’ve mentioned this before. Whenever a friend – Christian or not – shares a struggle with me, I tell them that I will pray for them. (If they are not Christian and not close enough for me to know if they will be comfortable with that, I ask if I may pray for them.)
Today was a day of running around doing mundane things – a little grocery shopping, a lot of cleaning, a little laundry and a little cooking. While doing all these chores, my mind tends to run. Actually, it’s really good to have a day when I need to do a bunch of chores because it allows me time to think. As I worked and thought today, it occurred to me how necessary prayer is in my life.
It is as natural to me as breathing, and something I do without really thinking about it. Sometimes I just stop and say “Thank you, God.” Sometimes I spend a concentrated time in prayer. Sometimes I think of someone (remembering something they said or did in the past few days) and when I think of them I lift them up before God in my mind.
Sometimes I pray with words, sometimes in song, sometimes in images and sometimes just in feelings that have no words at all. Today, for example, a friend reached out to express a particularly difficult time she’s been going through in the past month or two. She has been on my mind all day. And while I don’t entirely know a single ‘easy’ thing to pray for her about, every time I have thought about her, I have felt love and protectiveness for her and connected those things to God. It’s a heart-thing and extraordinarily difficult to put into words without sounding trite or new-agey. Basically, I felt warmth towards her and towards God and connected those warmths to each other. I have no idea if that makes any sense at all to anyone else.
Sometimes we think prayer is difficult – but I think it is meant to be as simple as speaking to a friend. If I can pray for you about something, please let me know. And if you’d like to pray for me, well, I’d be touched. There are many things for which I need prayer, and if you’re the sort who feels best when given a specific request, I’d ask that you pray that God increases my trust of him and decreases my worry about uncertain futures.