Pause for Prayer
By Karen Schoeppach
Prayer and praying, I have heard these words for as long as I can remember. Understanding the meaning of the words and the actions they represent came as I grew up and heard people praying for others, for situations, for outcomes, and for help when all seemed lost. I am no stranger to prayer, to praying. I feel all prayers are important and worthy of God’s attention. What I haven’t realized is how much prayer means to those for whom we pray.
People ask us for prayers for all kinds of reasons. No request is too small. None are unworthy. When someone is desperate and doesn’t know what to do, they ask family and friends for prayer and to be included on prayer lists. They tell us how grateful they are for our prayers and how much those prayers mean to them. If we haven’t experienced the feeling generated when others concentrate their prayers on our need, can we really know and understand?
Recently, I have had the privilege to be asked to join with others to offer prayers for healing, for decisions, for support after loss, and for answers when there don’t seem to be any. In every case, I have heard from the people for whom I have prayed how much knowing there are prayers being said has meant to them. Sitting next to them, looking into their eyes when they tell you they can feel the love and support, lets you know just how true it is. The prayers said, knowing others are praying, truly does help those for whom the prayers are being said.
When asked to pray for others, God, help us to understand how meaningful those prayers will be. Give us the strength and courage to say those prayers without worrying about praying “the right way”. Give those in need of prayers the ability to reach out to anyone for those prayers. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.