On the Edge
Have you ever tried praying for someone that you don’t fully understand or maybe don’t even agree with fully?
The first step is to start by listening.
Listening helps to inform my prayers. If I pray for this other person after I have heard his or her perspective, my heart has a chance of softening—even if my stance doesn’t.
This is an important distinction.
My heart can open up even if we still don’t agree.
Because God promises to meet me there, before any resolution or agreement.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
– James 5:16
Listening reminds me of their story. I hear again that individual’s name, and, if I’ll allow, I remember how he or she is beloved by God.
This person who is frustrating or disappointing me is now becoming more of a person to me. An impressive, imperfect, but made in the image of God person.
And with that, my words begin to change.
My thoughts begin to change.
And my prayers begin to change.
These are not, “Dear God, please clue this idiot into the error of his or her ways” prayers. These are honest, vulnerable, bold prayers. I can now go before the throne of my King and pray for this person’s heart, their family, and their wellbeing… and in those raw moments I’m reminded that I have a God who intercedes for me and my less-than-perfect heart.
So I’d challenge you not just to pray for your own community (yes, absolutely do that) but pray boldly for someone you almost can’t imagine praying for.
Let’s see what God does in those strained and struggling places on the edge of our relationships.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
– Romans 12:12