Seems like it happens more and more to me. It must be because people know that I am a preacher. And I suppose it comes with the territory as is often said. What I am talking about is this: people asing me to pray for them. I get that request repeatedly.
I view it as an honor that people ask me to pray for them. Some people must think that what I say in prayer is more powerful than what they can say. Or most likely, they know that the more people praying the better it is. I have had people call me on the phone and after pouring out their hearts about a troubled life, ask me if I will pray for them. I always do. Sometimes I get an e-mail from someone I have met while traveling and they ask me to remember them in prayer. I always do. I’ve been asked by friends, elders in other congregations, and family members visiting a loved one in the hospital. Will you pray for me? What a touching request!
Just today I was with someone who owns a business. The market has been soft for them and they over purchased some equipment. Payments were big, income was low. This person told me that things were desparate and some of the equipment needed to be sold. I was asked, “Will you say a prayer that someone will buy the stuff?” Something about that request grabbed my attention. I have tried to talk to this person about Jesus and have gotten no response. I have invited this person to come and worship with us. Nothing. Zero. No interest. But on this day, the subject of prayer was brought up and it wasn’t by me. This person is so desparate that he realizes that he needs to call in help. He needs prayers. Yet, I wonder if his equipment is sold, will there be any prayers of thanksgiving to God or will there be a renewed interest in learning more of the God of Heaven and earth? Or, is God the last resource for a desparate and discouraged person? Could it be that after everything else has been tried and nothing seems to work, then and only then, is prayer something that ought to be tried?
I did pray for this person. I prayed for something more important than the selling of his equipment. I prayed for the salvation of his soul. I prayed that he would see that God is not to be used just when we need Him and then discarded when we get what we want. God deserves better than that.
We sing a song that says, “I need Thee every hour...” but I wonder if we really feel that way. The early disciples seemed to have a good understanding of this:
Jesus told them to pray for their daily bread (Matt. 6:11).
The Lord wants us to take up our cross daily (Lk. 9:23).
The Bereans searched the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).
The apostles taught daily (Acts 5:42).
The Hebrews were told to encourage one another daily (Heb. 3:13).
We need the Lord every day. We need the Lord to guide our steps every day. We need the Lord to forgive our sins every day. We need the Lord to strengthen us every day. We need to pray every day.
Our faith needs to be a daily faith. Not a Sunday morning faith. Not a “get me out of this trouble” faith. And not a faith that changes like the weather. Yes, I need Thee every hour!