On (in)courage last Sunday we took time to simply pray for each other. I’ve drifted back over those requests the last few days. Oh, they are full of our hurts—broken hearts, families, lives. Every time I read them I feel an ache within me. And I know somehow…it is the ache of God for us.
I think then of Jesus outside the tomb of Lazaraus. He knows in a few moments that life will be brought forth, that all will be well, and yet He weeps. Such a God we have…who doesn’t offer us cliches to soothe our souls. No, He never said, “You’ll see Him again one day!”
Sometimes I am afraid of prayer for this reason. Ann Voskamp, woman of beautiful words, friend of my heart though we’ve never met, talks today about how it is only she who keeps herself from prayer. So true, so right. It is the same for me.
And as I consider the reasons, I realize that fear is one for me as well. For when we let our hearts be still, when we commune with our Father, especially on behalf of another, we cannot walk away untouched. We cannot be indifferent. And this is inconvenient, uncomfortable.
God is love and when we come to Him we enter into it—not Sunday school love but messy, risky, take-us-to-the-cross love. Prayer is a joining of us with God. And when we are joined with someone their cares become ours, we love those they do.
This is an opening of ourselves when we would rather remain closed, giving when it is easier to receive, surrendering when we want desperately to hold onto our time, energy, emotions.
Give us the courage to love like you do, Lord, and make every prayer an act of divine compassion.