My sister-in-law and I have a code. Since we communicate these days mostly by texting, we know that if we get a text that reads, “Got a minute to chat?” then it is time to talk – whether on the phone or in person.
She was my one of my “battle buddies” while my husband was on an unaccompanied tour, and then a few months later, when he and our oldest son were deployed at the same time. She has listened to me rant and rave like a crazy woman and has seen me at my absolute worse – mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
When I answered the phone, she went on to explain a dear friend’s crisis, and she told me why she called me: “Because you pray.”
I have never been more humbled in my life. And I never felt so inadequate.
Prayer has always been part of my life, but I don’t think I really “got it” until the past few years. Sure, I have rattled off “The Lord’s Prayer” so I could get on with my day or doze off at night. I felt like I had done my prayerful obligation – some days, just an item to check off my to-do list.
I remember when growing up, our family would say the obligatory meal-time prayer – a routine that was done without thinking, which oft-times had my mother chastising us for racing through the prayer – and she would make us heathens pray again before we ate.
But somewhere along the way, I grew in faith, and realized that my life was more enriched when I prayed, when I just sat quietly and talked to God. The relationship that grew – and continues to grow – is more like a Father-daughter bond. I can discuss anything with Him, and He listens. And there have been some days I have been really mad at Him and even yelled at Him, but He still loves me and cares for me. Just like my earthly dad loved me.
Throughout the years, there were many women of faith that inspired me in my spiritual journey. These ladies had seen wars, sickness, depression, death, financial ruin – and yet, they kept praying. With each hurdle, they kept their faith, and I longed to have their strength.
There have been some nice things said about me at times, and there have been some negative words, too. Just because I pray doesn’t mean I am “good,” but I do try my best to live by the examples Jesus set. I ask for the Holy Spirit to guide me – especially my heart and my tongue, because those two body parts can offer so much good; and those two body parts can also cause the most pain.
I know that the statement “Because you pray,” is one of the highest compliments I have ever received. And a statement that I don’t feel worthy to receive. I always felt that people with stronger faith or a pastoral calling have a direct connect to God. In fact, the pastor I work with has heard me ask, “Pastor, would pray for [insert my request here]. You have a direct line to God.”
And then he gently reminds me, “So do you.”
So why did my sister-in-law call me and ask me to pray? Because our dear friend’s husband has just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Because he will undergo further testing tomorrow. Because she, their children and family are going through hell. Because those supporting this family need the strength to be strong. Because when I prayed, I felt led to call my prayer warriors to lift this family. And because when I prayed, I was led by the Holy Spirit to pen this request:
“Because you pray,” please lift this family in prayer.
On behalf of my friend and her family, thank you. God bless you.
© Lynne Cobb – 2014