Prayer requests create an interesting phenomenon. I've been in groups where it is used as a form of gossip, a segue into a pitty party or an avenue for bragging. Reality is we are asking people to go before the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings and request something that matters to us. We are asking others to spend their time before Him interceding on our behalf. That's a big deal! I have had people ask me before to pray for them regarding an unspoken prayer request. I mean, God knows doesn't He? So technically, why do I need to know? It takes away the drama, the gossip and the bragging if I don't actually know what I'm praying for. I'm good with that. Today, somebody asked me to pray for an unspoken request regarding an anonymous person. That was a first. I agreed but had no idea where to start. I made an attempt at a vague, "you know who they are Lord and you know what they need" prayer. But my mind was all over the map. So I continued to pray for all the things that came to me.
I prayed for the teenager who wants nothing more than to feel as though they belong somewhere, anywhere. For the kid who doesn't have a safe and secure home where they are fed, nurtured, kept safe and wanted. For the young man who seeks his purpose in a world where men are made by what they produce. For the young lady who is prostituting her time and her heart in hopes of one day being honored, cherished and valued. For the single mom who is harried and hurried and wants nothing more than a nap and a bonus in her next paycheck. For the stay at home mom who desires to get dressed in real clothes and have an adult conversation during a meal where she doesn't have to cut anybody else's food. For the young couple who can't find their way around a disagreement without producing more hurt and distance. For the old couple who worries about the well being of one another as their helath declines but their love increases. For the cancer patient sitting in the chemo lab watching the poison dripping into the bag in hopes it will turn the prognosis around.
I prayed for the lonely kid who walks home from school and puts themselves to bed everynight. For the single adult who questions their worth and doubts their existence all because they don't have a mate. For the parents in the hospital room sitting with their child who they can't hold because of the tubes and the machines. For the tired volunteer who feels unappreciated. For the mentally ill who feel misunderstood. For the widow whose only company is the memories. For the impoverished, the marginalized, the responsible and the irresponsible. For those who regret and for those who don't know that they should. For the hungry, the homeless, the enslaved and the addicted. For those that can't pay their bills and for those who are in bondage to all that money they have. So many needs. So much brokeness. So many hurts.
Interestingly, when I finished I realized that these are the prayers I should be praying everyday. I also realized that I too often focus on the person and the request and not The healer, The sustainer, The fixer, The comforter, The answer. The purpose of prayer is not that we know what we are praying for or on whose behalf we are doing it. The purpose of prayer is recognizing who we are asking, what He is capable of and trusting that He loves us enough to listen. The purpose of prayer is to get my heart in a place that knows no matter what the request and no matter who the recepient, He is the answer. The purpose is to get to the heart of God so that my heart reflects His heart. He is the answer to all the unspoken and anonymnous everythings. When I pray, I remember that!