I like to know what’s going on in the world, and I read the news every day from several different news sources. Some days, though, I am kind of sorry that I looked. News of human beings acting in hate and violence against other human beings seemed overwhelming this morning. I feel moved to pray, but how? What do we pray when we want to pray for the world, for strangers, for pain and suffering near and far? Is there a list of things we should pray for? (I’m always happy when I have a list!)
Mother Teresa said, “Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
In Ephesians 3:19, Paul asks for this blessing for all believers: “…to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
So, in the face of the world and all its need, praying a list is maybe not all we need to do. There is nothing wrong with the list—laying out our cares and concerns before God. But if we stop at the bottom of the list and say Amen, we haven’t really completed our prayer.
At the end of the list, we put ourselves at God’s disposal to be part of the answer to our own prayer and the prayers of others. We listen for God’s voice. We ask to be filled with the fullness of God.
This week in the GPS guide, we will be looking at searchers and searching–looking for God in the world, seeking God’s will, love, forgiveness, blessing. There are a lot of lists involved in the searching, and when we are moved to pray about those lists, let’s remember that we are not just asking for a “fix,” but for God to show us, in the depths of our hearts, where and how we can be God’s hands and feet and voice and loving arms as we are filled with “all the fullness” God has for us.
–Jennifer Creagar, Resurrection Prayer Ministry