Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, YOUR WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13 (ESV)
This post is the second in the series 70 times 7 on wrestling with God as the parents of a prodigal. While as we go through this journey, it won’t be essential that you read every post, I do believe it will be important to understand our situation as explained in the post 70 times 7: the prodigal departs.
Here are three questions for you to consider …
- Who do you pray for?
- How do you pray for them?
- Do you pray differently for believers than non-believers?
If you’re like most folks … and I’m including myself … you have a list of folks you pray for: family, friends, co-workers, fellow believers, etc. Typically what you then may have listed for each person is their current circumstances … the trials, tribulations and choices they find themselves faced with. Most of the time we are either praying for the trials and tribulations to go away … be resolved … or we are praying for wisdom for decisions.
Do you agree? Would you add or take something away?
I know such generalizations as are listed above are not truly all encompassing … but more often than not (think 51% or more of the time) I think these are correct.
So do you pray the same for the unrepentant and non-believer?
I find myself convicted not necessarily to pray for the resolution of trials and tribulations of those who live apart from Christ … oftentimes it is in the midst of these circumstances that the Lord is bringing a person to a point of repentance.
Quite frankly I don’t know how to advise someone or pray for the circumstances of someone living apart from Christ Jesus …
Do you struggle with this?
Eventually … eventually … eventually … that is the point my wife and I reached in praying for our prodigal. And we are quite honest in our prayers … “Lord, we just don’t know what to pray for her … so we pray for protection from evil, provision for needs (not wants) and that Your will be done where she, her boyfriend and their child is concerned.” And then we climb out on the limb with them and pray for His will to also be done in our lives in the midst of their circumstances.
So often we think the prayers we lift up are only for the person we are praying for but oftentimes they are as much if not more for the ones doing the praying …
So the reality is that the prayers we lift up for our prodigal are also prayers lifted up for my wife and me …
Taking a second look at the Lord’s prayer above seems to confirm that praying for protection, provision and the will of God is the right way to go …
Which brings us to ‘Amen’ … you ever think about what you are saying when you say ‘Amen’ at the end of your prayers? (and it is definitely NOT ‘Until next time God’.)
My Revell Bible Dictionary offers several insights into its meaning:
- a willingness to obey a superior
- agreement with a speaker
- let it be so
And while no doubt there is truth in all those interpretations, I gravitate to ‘let it be so’. But the question for me, “What is ‘it’ referring to?” I can’t convince myself that the ‘it’ is my prayers as I’ve requested them … instead I believe the ‘let it be so’ is really ‘according to Your will Father’. Per the above: a willingness to obey God and agreement with the Spirit … who BTW when truly surrendered and submitted is the true Speaker and Intercessor of our prayers … IMHO (in my humble opinion).
Your will be done Father … your will be done!!!
NEXT UP: unanswered prayers