. . . could you just pray for . . . .

My list keeps growing.

That’s a good thing, of course, because it’s one of the ways that as members of the body of Christ we can be a part of what God is doing in each others’ lives. We are told in James 5:16 “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” And although the Greek word for “faults” is usually used in Scripture to mean ways in which we deviate from truth and righteousness, its fuller Greek meaning is “to fall beside or near something”–to fall short, to not quite be what we need to be, I suppose. In my experience, while we usually share our requests of the first kind with people that we have grown to trust on a deep level, we share our requests of falling short (financially, physically, sometimes relationally, and many more areas besides) with many others that we hope will be most likely to pray!

Prayer is a mystery in so many ways [how we little people can sway the hand of the omniscient Almighty by our little near-sighted requests is a question that probably will never be answered till we see our Savior face-to-face!], but the Bible presents it simply–it says PRAY. Pray knowing that God hears you. Pray realizing that you are still very human (Elijah was very human, and look how God answered him!). Pray believing that God wants to answer you and is indeed answering you. Pray understanding that God does bigger things than we grasp and that the requests we are bringing to Him might require Him to move mountains. Pray like a desperate beggar asks for food. Pray like a trusting little child tells his parents what he wants or needs. Most of all, pray with the certainty that God is better than any other person that there is–He is fully and completely GOOD. He is LOVE. And if our parents give good things to us, won’t He? And if our friends help us out when we are lacking, won’t He?

Yet I am still surprised at the way that the requests have been multiplying on my prayer list lately. The past weeks have become a time of quieting down from the busy state of activity this summer and remembering Who God is and who I am in Him. And they have–without my realizing it–become a time of praying. And of asking others to pray for me and for my requests. And today, as another request came to me, it felt like the Body of Christ was saying “Since you’re praying, could you add this request to your list?” I say it felt like the Body was saying it because no one person who has been handing me requests lately could know that this has become for me a time of praying. But there the request was! Sorta funny! And I am starting to grow curious to see what God is going to do–how He will answer and meet these needs! He already has more than answered our prayers for the safe delivery of my friend’s 8-week-premature baby boy. Maybe when He says “availeth much” He means it!