“Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence.” W. S. Bowd
I used to say: I’ll pray for you, more as an expression of faith than a promise. I meant it. I meant to, but I often forgot. As more and more people came into my life, my promises to pray increased. I’d jot down names and sometimes circumstances, to insure I would remember. But I continued to struggle. I’m not a person of few words. How could I cover all the needs of so many?
“Rejoice always, pray continually.” I Thessalonians 5:17
Reading Thessalonians only made it worse. Surely there had been a slip of the pen or some kind of cultural confusion that would excuse me from what I read as two separate, but equally impossible directives: always rejoice; always pray. I’ve gradually come to view the second as a condition of the first. The more I know Him as my constant companion, the more I rejoice, the more I pray. This has led to a significant change in how I pray.
The answer for me (I’m only speaking for myself) has been to step back from praying such didactic prayers. I’ve quit telling God how to meet other people’s needs. I do still pray very specifically at times, but I also take out my list every day and I just sit before the Lover of my soul and bring each name, each heart before Him in quiet petition.
There are innumerable times daily, either during my interaction with someone or as a person comes to my mind, when I pray for just a few seconds, often without words, relying on the Holy Spirit to intercede. It’s like an old-fashioned prayer meeting except my heart, not my lips, mummer a name or an uh huh or a yes Lord, as rejoicing informs my prayers, and praying brings rejoicing.
“In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” ~ John Bunyan