Attentively pray: Credo #94

Posted: July 13, 2009 in Credo, For brothers

Single Christian man: When you head down the road to work in the morning you do this by following a path – a road – that demarcates where you go, where you turn, where you stop, etc. A fortunate few of us can go ripping off across the ranch or waterfront with a freedom that others can only enjoy vicariously, but you get my point.

You must pray. For yourself. For your brothers in arms – and brothers in arms* they are, like it or not. The enveloping social chaos in the U.S. is the fruit made real from seeds that have been planted for generations. As we used to say while at sea when I was in the service of Uncle Sam: Stand by for heavy rolls. You will not prosper in your understanding of your life with God or your shared life in the body with other men if you do not do this. You are commanded to pray for each other, and for governmental authorities as well. It is well nigh impossible to walk in forgiveness towards those who injure you if you do not pray for them to some degree.

How to pray? Well, we have a few scriptural models to draw from. It is a deep and important subject, and betimes I will revisit it on this page. I am not qualified to speak at length on the subject. The point of this Credo is that you need to keep this between the lines; and thus my illustration of this point with the bit about the road. The daily ritual is the way to keep this thing happening .

Perhaps one of the biggest fibs in modern church life is the glib “I’ll pray for you” – which can mean anything from “take your problem away, I don’t want to hear about it” to “alright already, I have a twinge of feeling about this.” This is childish and perhaps sin. I think God notices when we make commitments lightly and lightly forget them.

Sometimes, though, it actually means what it sounds like. It so happens that I have found it useful and pragmatic to make my commitments to pray for someone time-specific rather than open-ended, because this is a way of going about it that encourages and reinforces integrity. Thus, “I’ll pray for you daily until the end of the month” communicates exactly what your intentions are, and acts against the glib, gooey kind of mess that we are trying to avoid.

The key point I want you to take away: Daily prayer for others. It will take you out of yourself and cause a correct understanding of your place. It will actually cause some things to happen, as you will discover over time. You will do well, or at least, better if you find find someone who will commit to you for these seasons as you do for them.

*This is a metaphor.

  1. Ame says:

    and i have deeply appreciated the times you have commited to pray for me. thank you.

    “Daily prayer for others. It will take you out of yourself and cause a correct understanding of your place.”

    yes … so very true … and so very, very powerful

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