During my lunch break today I went through a small pile of paper scraps with prayer requests written on them, from the Center of Hope. Reading people's heart-cries to God, and interceding for them, is always a touching and humbling experience. Today especially I felt like God had lessons to teach me through these simple petitions:
Request (in childish handwriting): "I want to feel God - Katelynn"
My first thoughts were, I wonder if she meant to spell good, or God? But I guess it doesn't matter because the root of both desires - to feel good and to feel God - is the same. And my prayer can be for both... Lord, help this little one to know you and feel your presence, and let the knowing of You be the good in her life... and even when she doesn't feel good, and even when she doesn't feel You, help her to know You are there.
Request: "I am thankful for my many Blessings. Today I am going to buy a new medicine. Pray that it solves my problems that have existed since Nov. 2007."
I recognize the handwriting, and am familiar with some of the wording. Someone, I'm not sure who, often leaves requests in the box that start with thanksgiving for God's many blessings. What a good reminder that, no matter our need, we always have much to be thankful for. I believe God delights in grateful hearts, as well as hearts that come to him confidently to request help in time of need.
Request: "Jesus I'm asking for a money Blessing and some dedts to be cancel. Please concider my Family & I with a blessing you have for us. Amen"
I felt in my heart that this is a serious request, probably the case of many people who are in need of financial security and freedom. Debt can weigh so heavily. I also began to wonder, should we simply pray for God to relieve people's debts - even if they brought it upon themselves by unwise decisions? So my prayer began to form in this way... God, please help this person to be able to work and make payments toward this debt, to understand the consequences of their decisions, to make wise financial choices, and to be able to live free from the worries caused by money... still being responsible and paying what they owe, but also to learn to live life that is not bound by work or bills, to truly live the way You intended, which I believe is possible even in the midst of great financial strain... And more importantly, please help him or her to realize the depth of the debt that Christ is willing to pay, and to accept the cancellation of a far greater debt than money.
Request: "Pray for my Strength in The LORD! - (name)"
How exciting for someone to be seeking the strength of the Lord! Perhaps he needs strength to face temptation? Perhaps to keep going in a difficult time of life? Sometimes I feel like, although my intentions are good, I am too weak to walk in faith and obedience. I'm just tired... in need of strength that I don't have on my own. It is at this point of realizing my need that I am able to tap into the strength available in the Lord!
Request: "Prayer for healing of cancer (name) Hear oh Lord"
This prayer brought echoes in my heart, For healing of cancer for Pat (one of our volunteers), for healing of Dixie after an emergency surgery (another volunteer), for healing of Dawn's infection (a client who needed help paying for her prescription antibiotic)... Hear oh Lord!
Request (another child's): "I want my dad's back to feel better. I want to prase God better. Jacob"
Oh, God, I want my mom's back to feel better, too! And I want to praise You better, too! Please help this boy's dad to feel better, and even when he's not feeling well, please give this boy peace that You are there for him even when a parent is in need and may not be fully there for him. And help him to live a life of praise that honors you... help me too, to take the time and give You praise, for You are very deserving of our praise.