My Prayers Are Stale (Part 4)

prayers-are-stale-4Well, here I’ve felt all this freedom by smashing the huge prayer structure and front-ending the people I promised to pray for every day. In other words, I pray for the missionary family in the Czech Republic that I promised I’d pray for – I pray for them first. You know, and that pastor and his wife that cried when they knew I prayed for them daily. And, of course, there are others. Then I pray for my family, then I open myself up to God in freedom, and the fun begins, because God brings to mind people I haven’t thought of in ages, and I say, “What should I pray for them for?” and God shows me. Deliriously happy I am in the freedom of having smashed the structure, the one that had kept me faithful to pray, the one that had resulted in saved souls and sanctified lives. The structure that was necessary for me not to forget the 200 people I was praying for daily (although, remember, I dumped 100, being led by God to do so.)

But I gasped to see a leak in the new freedom: some people aren’t being prayed for, and the people I was praying for don’t get consistent prayer. Let’s take for example a friend who kept thinking about men. She asked me to pray that she wouldn’t think about men. I prayed against this every day for years until a few days ago. Guess what? This woman had NO PROBLEM with thoughts of men (for a couple of years) until the past few days when I didn’t pray that particular prayer request because of my freedom of prayer.

I feel personally responsible.

Like the time I was praying for a teenaged girl to not sleep with anyone. I prayed every day about it for years except for one day. ONE DAY. The one day I forgot to pray it, she lost her virginity. I bawled. I confessed to my friend (the teenager’s mother) that I had skipped praying for her that one day, and that I was so sorry.

She said, “Susan, your prayers just held off the inevitable.”

I bawled anyway. I bawled for days, feeling responsible. My husband said, “Don’t you think God is in control of what happens, that He can have other people pray, and that it’s not all up to you?” In other words, he was saying that it wasn’t my fault.

I still feel responsible.

I’m not sure if I’m going to keep my newfound prayer freedom, since there’s collateral damage to pay, but I don’t want to go back to the structure. At least not yet. I love the joy that is intermixed with the freedom of being open to the Spirit’s leading during prayer. I just can’t give that up.

All I can say, people, is that prayer is powerful. Please pray. Pray for your family, for the people around you, for anyone God burdens your heart for. Pray for at least ten minutes. I dare you. You owe God that much. You can build from there. You will get chills as you see God answer prayer in people’s lives in a powerful way. I guarantee it.

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2 Responses to “My Prayers Are Stale (Part 4)”

  1. Karen Maag says:

    You are so right Susan, prayer is powerful. I read in a FB post in the last few months that someone used the alarm on their cell phone to remind them to stop and pray their prayer requests. Then I recently read about how little or how detailed a prayer needs to be. Prayer is personal.

    I believe God knows what’s on our hearts and for those we pray. I understand you saying you feel responsibility to those you include in prayer.

    I too, want to know I’m praying for what’s best, but know I have to be thankful for those unanswered words or the ones answered differently than spoken to God,

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