I Say a Little Prayer for You by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
The moment I wake up, before I put on my makeup, I say a little prayer for you.
While combing my hair now, and wondering what dress to wear now, I say a little prayer for you.
The timeless lyrics of Aretha Franklin.
There are so many blogs, sermons, books, podcasts about prayer.
How to pray, how long to pray, when to pray, where to pray or what position to pray in.
What is prayer?
Personally I’m a bit like Aretha.
Most mornings I wake up, the very first thing out on my mind is a chat with God.
“Good Morning Lord, thank you for this day, I commit it to you”.
Then as my mind wakes up it scans the agenda of the day and I pray accordingly. It usually starts with my kids, husband, friends, people that I am meeting that day, things required of me that day. It’s the “Say a little prayer for you”.
Many times during my day people ask me to pray for them or for someone that they love. It may be over face book, text, in person, or over the phone. I get very convicted over this. About 20 years ago I realised that I was often quite glibly saying, “Ill pray for you” or ” I’m praying for you” but 5 min later I would not give it another thought. I am now very intentional in my follow through. I will pause immediately after the phone call or message and pray intentionally for that situation or person, even if it’s just for a few min. Then at the end of the day as I scan through the events of the day I will purposely recall the times that I have said or thought that and I will pray for that person or situation.
There are of course times when I strategically take time to pray about specific things and when I take time to hear from God either in my journal or in a quiet space.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that prayer takes many forms. You need to find what works for you. The important thing is that prayer is a conversation with God so be prepared to wait and listen for an answer.
Prayer is a posture, it’s a stance. It’s a conversation. It’s just as important that you chat with God in the morning when you are getting ready for the day as it is when or if you take a strategic 1 hour prayer time.
All of us relate differently, talk differently, think differently so it makes sense that we will meet and chat with God differently.
Let me share an anecdote that happened last week in my local community concerning prayer.
Something that is quite a common occurance in my world.
It goes like this.
I pop into one of our local cafes to grab a coffee. The gorgeous waitress pounces on me and says.
“Lisa, tell her what you do!” Pointing to the other waitress.
I’m like. “What do you mean what I do? Do you mean Artist, Celebrant, Writer???”
She gives me a big eye roll. “Lisa, YOU KNOW…….do you speak to God?”
“Does he speak BACK to you?”
Turning and thrusting her hand in her colleagues face… “See I told you she speaks to God? Lisa can you pray for her and for her family, she needs your prayer”.
Me: “Of course, you know I will. Give me a few days and I will get back to you”.
So, each morning and evening as I scan the day I add them to my list of things to pray about. And I also wait…..
“Lord, what do you want me to say to her?
What is the situation? What are they going through?
They have asked for help. They need an answer… can you please help them?
Four or five days go past and I am beginning to get an idea of what is going on in the situation. The Lord gives me a clear picture of the trouble that they are facing and a suggestion as to how they can find a way out. When I say picture I literally see a picture in my mind, like a serious of snap shots.
Monday morning I wake up early and think.. today is the day I go and chat with her but finding time alone is not that easy. The cafe is always very busy and it’s a bit hard to talk personally.
I walk into the cafe. I’m greeted with.
“Hi, do you have an answer for her yet? Have you prayed?” (another eye roll and hands on hips)
I laugh out loud, “Of course”.
Immediately the tempo in the place shifts… She points to her friend, You need to talk but not here. So she is allowed to take a smoko and we go out into the back car park and sit on the gutter whilst she lights up a cigarette, and we chat.
I explain that I’ve been praying for her and that I’ve been given a picture of what has been happening and a suggestion of what may help.
She tears up. She can’t believe that I know what has been going on, what I say resonates with her and she can see that what I’m saying makes sense. We chatted all of 6 min? I said I would continue to pray and to have hope that God knew exactly what she was going through and that He obviously cared for her and her situation because He had 1: answered her request for help 2: answered my prayers for help to know how to assist her and 3: provided a strategy for her to work on.
This is a very simple example of the fact that:
1: Prayer works.
2: We need to take the time to listen for the answer or for what God has to say about it.
3: It’s not weird or uncomfortable, and does not come with conditions.
4: It is all about relationship and trust.
My dear neighbours in the cafe know me. They trust me. They are not Christ followers but they know that I am. So they very simply just ask for help.
Does God care that they are not in church every week or jumping through religious hoops?. No.
Does he love them and care about their lives?. Yes.
Are they learning in a simple and non threatening way that God is real and cares about them?. Absolutely.
I adore them, I am doing life with them. They know this. They also know that I have no agenda and God is simply working through me and expressing his love and grace to them in their time of need. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s not overcomplicate how the spirit of God works. If we are authentic and connected to the life of the Spirit, God will work through us. I can’t help them, but He can. It’s that easy.
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