How active are you praying for others?
I was catching up with an old friend and he gave me an update on a young lady he asked me to join him in prayer for. Susan was bitter against God and the church she was raised in. She had made some bad choices after college that led to difficult consequences. Friends at church offered to work with her to address them but would not succumb to Susan’s insistence that she was a victim of other’s prejudice against her. They responded that Susan did what she did of her own volition and needed to own up to her actions and act like an adult. Susan felt betrayed.
Susan had started down a path that was leading straight to jail. After one incident, she ended up in court and faced the possibility of a year in jail. The judge was lenient and allowed Susan to go through counseling and work to pay back what she had stolen. The judge also allowed her to get back on track for a better life by finishing college. She transferred to a Christian college, but she “felt” others looked at her with judgment even though they did not know her backstory. Susan just assumed they were hypocritical and she had a hard time making friends because of her stand-offish persona. She simply would not give her new roommate and dorm/class mates a chance to see her for who she really was – a hurting young lady who needed a friend.
My friend heard about Susan from her parents now and then. They asked him to pray for Susan, which he did. He also suggested they talk to Susan about attending a summer camp led by Christians who cared for children with special needs. Maybe Susan could get over her self-centeredness by learning to serve others who had needs as well.
The summer following her college graduation, Susan attended this camp. The orientation for camp counselors pushed Susan to deal with her own story. She begrudgingly became willing to acknowledge she was broken, but wanted to get better. The tools and training provided by the camp director gave Susan insight into her life and she began to think of herself differently.
The second from the last night of the week-long camp found Susan in a personal wrestling match for her own soul. She was in a spiritual battle with God over who’s view of her life she would live by. She fought with God, voicing her anger, her frustrations, and her bitterness to Him. Hours later, just before sunrise, she humbly mouthed, “Okay God…if you are real and want me, come and get me. Give me a sign.” Later that morning, she received one.
The sign was the morning Bible teacher’s message that Susan heard and responded to for salvation. One key was a testimony of another camper who said they woke up just before sunrise to pray for someone who was “wrestling with God” that morning. Susan’s eyes were opened to God’s grace and power over sin and death. Susan began a new journey toward life!
Read 2 Kings 6:15-18.
Elisha prayed for his servant’s eyes to be opened, and they were.
Live communally. Do you know someone who is doubting God? Does he or she need opened eyes to the reality of God? For whom do you need to pray for today? Will you pray with confidence (Hebrews 4:16)? Praying for others can open their eyes, because God is involved.
Love is a verb,
©2019 by Mike Olejarz