A Talk I Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 1/27/2016
Your phone rings. Or the text alert sounds off. You check who it is, and it’s Willis. Willis doesn’t contact you often, but when he does, you almost always know what it is: He needs something. His son has a fever — could you pray? His lawn needs mowed — could he borrow your mower? He has a job opportunity — could you write a recommendation?
These are the only times you hear from Willis, so you know, as you look at his name on your caller ID that he needs something.
And you — like every other good Christian, like you do every time Willis calls — respond with kindness. You pray, you lend, or you write that recommendation — whatever the case may be.
And you love Willis. Because that’s what Jesus does. He loves you.
I know that through various seasons in life, I have been the “Willis” in Jesus’ life. Sometimes I’m the one who comes to Him only when I need something. When my wife is sick — Help her, Jesus. When my schedule is packed — Help me get this done, Jesus. When my finances are a little iffy — Help me find ways to make ends meet, Jesus.
And Jesus responds with kindness. He heals. He helps me find margin I didn’t have before. He provides. He loves me. That’s what Jesus does. He loves.
But may I suggest that if you are Willis on the caller-id of heaven’s prayer-line that you’re probably not the most spiritually healthy person who ever calls? I don’t mean to judge. Judge for yourself. This podcast gives you a way to do just that.
More than helping you see for yourself, this podcast helps you see ways to become more spiritually healthy!
“Send some prayers my way,” Joey said. “I am applying for that job tomorrow.”
I have heard this kind of thing innumerable times through the years: “I am sending some prayers your way today!” It’s a nice sentiment, but technically, where are prayers sent? We all know they are sent to God. David illustrates this in places like Psalm 142 where he says, 1O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. 2May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Even though he later states in this psalm that his prayer is against his enemies, David affirms from the start that the prayer is addressed to God and it’s going to God.
Likewise, Revelation 5 speaks with beautiful imagery of our prayers when it says this of the Lamb that was slain: 8And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Where did those prayers go? They became as incense in heaven — in the presence of God.
I feel confident that when people say this kind of thing — I’ll send some prayers your way — they intend it as a blessing. I would guess that they say it with pure hearts. But, without meaning to, they essentially leave God out of the picture. And frankly, when I hear someone say it, it sounds… pagan. It’s like saying that you’re sending some mojo. Christians don’t send mojo. We speak to God himself and ask him to send healing, deliverance, correction, life, and at times, himself — all of which are blessings.
Prayer is a great privilege. It’s essential to understand that by it,we enter the presence of the Most High God. And frankly, I’d rather have someone speak personally to God on my behalf than to “send some prayers my way”!
So send some prayers God’s way for someone in need. Trust God to send the blessing needed in response to the prayer.
“Do I want to pray or only to think about my human problems? Do I want to pray or simply kneel there contemplating my sorrow? Do I want to direct my prayer towards God or let it direct itself towards me?” ~ Hubert Van Zeller (emailed to me by Rev. John Friedlund)