Have you ever promised to pray for someone . . . without following through? I'll be the first to admit that I have. Sometimes I forget. Other times, I am in the middle of my own mini-life crisis and have enough problems of my own to pray for. Most of the time, however, I know that saying "I'll pray for you" is the easy (or fast) way out of a difficult (or long) conversation. Our lives will go on and the problem will eventually work itself out.
Recently, however, I started to wonder why I make promises to pray for someone that I never really intended to keep. It's deceitful and unbiblical! While it's true that I'm forgetful, I don't think that's the ultimate reason. I hate to admit it, but I think it's because I don't care enough to pray. The "good Christian" exterior I display on a daily basis to my friends, family and co-workers harbors a self-seeking individual with a hardened heart.
The problem has something to do with what Søren Kierkegaard once said: "Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays."
It's true. I don't like change. My life is complicated enough as it is. I don't want to pray only to find out that God wants me to make a U-turn with my priorities, schedule and lifestyle so that it will line up with His. Ever hear the quote "break my heart for what breaks Yours [God's]"? If you have ever truly prayed this prayer before, you'll know that God sometimes chooses to turn your world upside-down. Everything is topsy-turvy and our paradigms are shattered. It's not a comfortable place to be. That's why it's so much easier to simply say "I'll pray for you" without ever grappling the heart of the issue.
I was convicted of this while working on a project for "Life Issues®." Brad Mattes, executive of the Life Issues® Institute, reminded me (again) that there are problems in this world that should break my heart because they break God's.
Thousands are subjected to a cruel and unusual death on a daily basis. Burned and suffocated in the very location they were first conceived, these individuals are regarded as 'not-yet-human' in classification. They aren't even given a chance to cast a vote to decide their fate. As you may have guessed, I'm talking about unborn babies whose parent(s) have made a decision to have an abortion.
Unborn babies, unfortunately, do not have a voice of their own to ask you to pray. What is more devastating is that their lives will not "just go on." Thankfully, though, there are individuals who battle on the frontlines for them. We must pray for these ambassadors who advocate that these children have a right to live. Abortion is murder.
Brad Mattes shares daily on "Life Issues®" the current events that need to be addressed. He knows that you and I have the ability, through God, to transform the world. Together we can influence policy and love those who are desperate to know that they are worthy of love. The first step is to get on our knees and pray - God will show us the next step.
Will you pray with me?
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