Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Meditations: For All Saints

I’ve recently rekindled a rewarding habit I used to have: my prayer journal. It’s a little different than the traditional journals. It’s just a record of what prayers I’ve prayed (when I remember to write them in the book). Some entries are only one line long and some are more than a page long. I also like to record what the impressions I get while I’m praying. I also use it to encourage myself. I read through the prayers that God has answered, particularly helpful when I feel like my prayers are bouncing the ceiling and hitting my head.

As with many things in life, my journal started out of adversity. My husband and I were going through a terrible season of persecution. God used Ephesians 5:18 as a call to action. It reads:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I committed to pray for this particularly trying situation. Each night, I would get the journal, my Bible and put on my purple socks (to keep my feet warm so I wouldn’t get distracted) and bombard heaven.

I wasn’t shocked at how fast my prayers got answered, but I was surprised. It seemed that God was simply waiting for me to pray so He could go to work. The wonderful response encouraged me to pray for some other situations in my life with the same amount of fervor. Not only did God answer, I rediscovered that I could really take everything that burdened me to Him. All the situations in my life looked better after I’d prayed.

One day, I was sitting reading through some of my pervious entries and something troubling struck me. All the entries were about me or my family. Funny since the scripture God used to motivate me to pick up the journal again included praying for all the saints. I’d been praying but my prayers were a little selfish. With the same fervor that I’d had for praying for my situations, I endeavored to start praying for others.

Shortly after I started, I realized the enormity of this little command from Ephesians. There are millions of believers in the world. How was I even supposed to pray for them all? I’d grown so accustomed to praying very personalized prayers that praying in general for all saints seemed overwhelming.

So I started small. As I prayed for my vindication from the persecution I was suffering, I prayed that God’s justice would reign on the earth. As I petition for guidance about my life, I prayed for the guidance of other believers. As I prayed for my children, I prayed for all Christian children facing the same struggles mine do. It ended up being a lot simpler than I thought. Pray for everyone else as I pray for myself.

No, I don’t know exactly what situations every Christian in the world is facing but God does. And the chances are pretty high that someone else on this big world is experience similar situations as me. It wasn’t hard to look beyond myself and pray for all Christians. Not hard for you either. Try praying for someone other than yourself. In that simple act and it connects you with other Christians all over the world. And get yourself a really big prayer journal.

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