THROUGHOUT ministry life I have been contacted and asked to pray for and with many people. As I have said many times, it is an honour to not only journey with people, but to also be entrusted with snippets of their lives.
One thing I have realised is that many people are deeply spiritual; they love Jesus and believe there is a God, but so often the Institution can get in the way. Whatever we think about Church, we all have access to God. You don’t need a priest. You don’t need a minister.
You can talk to God as we all have direct access to Him. Prayer is simply conversation. Some people prefer the surroundings of a church building, others pray while out running, in the car, in their home. I have been a Christian since my teens, and when there have been times that my faith does not make sense to me, prayer has always been my way to be connected to God. As we walk through our lives, many of us are trying to find the language to articulate what is happening deep inside us.
These guys 👇 are also collecting for Afghan Refugees. .. https://t.co/Yc83XB9ohI— Rev Karen Sethuraman (@KarenSethuraman) August 23, 2021
For me, prayer is simply conversation. We don’t need fancy holy terms. We don’t need to be an ‘on-fire’ Christian. Prayer is simply cracking open our hearts and revealing what is on the inside. We see many examples in Paul’s letters where prayer is spoken for people by name and need. An example can be found in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know…”
I want to share some snippets of a prayer I read recently, titled: A Prayer for the Tired, Angry Ones… (found in A Rhythm of Prayer, by Sarah Bessey). I hope you hear how open and honest her words are and, more importantly, recognise that prayer is simply talking to God about what is going on in and around us.
We are so tired. We want to do justice, but the work feels endless, and the results look so small in our exhausted hands. We want to love mercy, but our enemies are relentless, and it feels like foolishness to prioritise gentleness in this unbelievably cruel world.
We want to walk humbly, but self-promotion is seductive, and we are afraid that if we don’t look after ourselves, no one else will.
We want to be kind, but our anger feels insatiable. Jesus, in this never-ending wilderness, come to us and grant us peace.
Grant us courage to keep showing up in impossible battles, trusting that it is our commitment to faithfulness, and not our obsession with results, that will bring your Shalom.
Grant us the vulnerability to risk loving our difficult and complicated neighbour, rejecting the lie that some people are made more in the image of God than others.
This reminds us prayer is simply honesty before God. Sometimes we can’t find the words as our hearts are too sore. Sometimes all we can say is ‘God, please help.’ But remember, you can pray wherever you are. Whenever. You can always pray.