We live in an instant-action world where we want productivity and a quick fix.
Having someone ask you to pray for them is an honor. They trust you with their wants and needs and ask you to lift your soul’s voice to the heavenly throne on their behalf. They also trust you to protect their heart.
Sometimes we don’t offer prayer but feel-good platitudes. We speak our idea of God’s solution into a person’s life instead of taking their prayer to God. A well-intentioned, “Chin up, buttercup!” can rub someone the wrong way. A hurting person may not want to be told it’s going to get better.
Many life situations won’t improve this side of heaven: sickness, family dysfunction, financial distress. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t care or that He’s not listening. It just means it may not be in someone’s best interest for God to bless them in the way we think they should be blessed. We may never understand why some prayers get answered while others don’t. We may feel we’ve cried so long and so loud that we’ve nothing left to cry with.
We can’t always see beyond the darkness, so we enlist those around us to do the same. That’s when prayer, not platitudes, turns to providence. And like the grain of sand that irritates the oyster, our situations turn our pleadings into pearls of prayers.
Don’t offer a synthetic solution in place of what’s genuine. When someone trusts you with their prayer needs, be careful to protect and cherish them, not toss them to the side or onto the ground. We all want to be cherished and protected by God. After all, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls” (Matthew 13:45 NLT).
Consider each prayer request a fine pearl to be added to your string of beauty. The more you treasure them, the greater your treasure will be.
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