|the sky is pink - we must take a picture.|
People talk about love languages. I don't know for sure what mine is -- maybe acts of service. But one thing I've realized is, nothing makes me feel loved so much as when somebody prays for me.
There are all sorts of definitions for what prayer is. For some even the word is super intimidating. I know when I was younger, at church or bright lights or whatever, when I heard, "Emma, would you pray?" it was about the same thing as "Emma, would you go stand on those tracks until the next train comes?" I'd heard so many people pray -- I didn't know all those words. They sounded stupid when I said them. No, I can't pray for you. I don't know how.
So I was never much of a pray-er. Not out loud anyway. I got bored in church when the pastor's prayer went on too long (or what I presumed to declare too long) and I tried to avoid praying whenever I could. Well, one good thing about getting older is you learn stuff you didn't understand before.What I didn't see before is that prayer is about the best thing we humans have got going for us. Prayer is the distinct honor and sacred privilege of talking with the Lord. It's a weapon, it's a balm, and it's a gift. It's the gift part I've seen in the last week.
I had an interview last week over the phone with a guy in Colorado. I hate talking on the phone, even to my friends. (It's not you; it's the phone.) But I really want this position, so I was all ready to give all the right answers. When the call came I was prepared. I thought. But I wasn't. Because the first thing he did was say a prayer for us, for me -- over the phone -- and I was so impressed and humbled and overwhelmed with his kindness and the fact that he was praying for me, some person he didn't even know, over the freaking phone, was just too much for my soul to handle. My cup runneth over. I started to cry.
Last night my sister and I were at rehearsal for worship on Sunday. There's always a prayer time before we start. Good old J. O. -- Pastor wasn't there so he took over leading the prayer, and he asked us specifically if we had anything we'd like to pray about. He asked after our family. And then he prayed for us -- those two girls who've been coming for six months, the ones in cowboy boots, the shy one and the one who plays the violin.
I was tired. I don't have a hard life or anything but I started a job last week and I'm taking a college class somewhere other than my own house for the first time in my life and I'm trying to keep up with the expectations everybody has of me, and when I write it down it sounds really trivial but the truth is I'm just tired. When he prayed, it was better than eight more hours of sleep, and it was better than being given a perfect score on an essay, and it was better than any other method of relief, because it was straight to God the Father -- who cares -- from somebody with such a golden heart who cares, about little old me and my folks. Like how.
When people pray for me it lifts a weight. It pulls back a curtain and lets light in. It's so noticeable, you can't mistake it. It's what they call a peace that transcends all else.
I'm learning to value prayer a lot more than I used to. Part of that is learning how to receive it and give it as a gift -- one of the most important parts. It's a lot easier than you might think. It's a lot easier than I used to think, and the rewards are sweeter than anything else can bring.
So I can pray for you, because you prayed for me, and because He listens to all of us and knows when we need it most.
P.S. Happy Valentine's Day a day late!