Have you noticed the new trend on social media where people express their grief and condolences by saying, “I’m so sorry… Prayers to the family,” etc.?
I love the heart. I love the shared sentiment. I love that we bind together and support one another in our deepest, darkest hour. When I’m in pain, I genuinely appreciate the thoughtfulness and concern of others — regardless of the syntax. After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?
There’s just one little problem with that; it’s that little preposition “to” and where it’s aimed.
Maybe it’s just the destruction of the English language or the “dumbing down of America.” Maybe. Or maybe it’s just bouncing words into thin air without knowing why.
See, we don’t send our prayers *to* people. We send them to God. We send them to God on behalf of people. We send them to God who is exceedingly, abundantly able to do more than we can ask or think. Further, we send them in the Name of Jesus who sits st the right hand of His Father pleading our case — and who is the *only* reason we have freedom to approach the throne of the Almighty. It is only in the Name of Jesus that we can make our petitions.
So, I appreciate your sending your prayers to me, but unless you write it on a post I happen to see, I’ll never get them. Even if I did get them, what would I do with them? I am powerless in life and death.
But my God isn’t. He raised people from the dead. He resituated unthinkable situations. When we call on the Name of Jesus, there is power; power to open blinded eyes, to make the lame walk again, to raise the dead — and the power to forgive.
If you’ve ever heard anyone mock prayer and say that it’s just words bouncing off the ceiling, maybe it’s because they’ve never sent those prayers to the right recipient.
As a parent, it would be somewhat akin to my child pining in her room secretly wanting something for her birthday. Problem is, she never asked for it. I had no idea that she wanted it. Now, I may not have been able to afford the gift even if I had known, but I wouldn’t want her to get mad at me and feel a wound because I hadn’t come through for her — particularly if she never came to me about it. Further, our relationship isn’t about her coming to see me only when she needs something. (No; that’s my college-aged son. But I digress. Just kidding! 😉) Parenthood is not supposed to be an on-demand only type of relationship. That’s what Amazon is for. A relationship is worth far more than a click to fill a momentary need — especially when you’re ordering from the wrong website and using the wrong type of payment. 👼🏼
Dear Father God,
Thank you for the opportunity to come to you in prayer. I am like a helpless child in so many ways. You are wise. Help me to trust your wisdom and understanding. Help me to walk in your peace that surpasses my understanding — to be still and know that you are God. Help me to remember to thank you when you answer prayers that I didn’t even remember to ask. Thank you for loving me and calling me your own. It’s because of the mercy-filled Name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
Pray *for* me. Pray *for* others. Talk to God on our behalf and your own. As you converse with Him, pour your heart out to Him. He cares for you so. ❤️ (I Peter 5:7)
Diving Deeper Into His Promise
God doesn’t always choose to answer in the way we request, but His ways are perfect. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him. He will direct your paths.
I John 5:14 – This is the confidence that we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
II Chronicles 7:14 – If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.