As we go about our daily routines, we often observe troublesome situations: the homeless man begging at a busy intersection, a young mother yelling at her child, a senseless news story that breaks our heart.
Beyond observations, there are situations that we directly encounter: a tense conversation with a loved one, a stressful event at work, or unexpected news from the doctor.
All too often, we cluck our tongues, shake our heads and give in to feelings to irritation, frustration, or worry. These feelings and reactions are perfectly natural. However, I invite you to also consider the spiritual aspect of these everyday occurrences.
Have you ever asked yourself why certain situations resonate so deeply with you?
It is my belief that such situations are intended to prompt us to pray. That sinking feeling and burden that we feel in our heart is actually a prayer assignment notification. God is connecting with His very same Holy Spirit which abides in you to solicit your prayers. This is not just a nice idea, but a sacred responsibility. In fact, scripture specifically states that it is a sin against the Lord to fail to pray for someone. When we deny prayer, we are essentially denying the power of God to bring about resolution.
“23 As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.”
– 1 Samuel 12:23-24 (NIV)
The next time you feel that vexation in your spirit – pray! Ask God to move in the situation of that individual as well as everyone else who who could fall into that same category or be associated with that category. For example, seeing the homeless man may prompt you to pray for him, but also for:
- the entire homeless population
- those who provide services to the homeless
- those in positions of authority to influence policies that benefit the homeless
Your resulting prayer will bring you a sense of peace because you’ve been obedient and fulfilled your spiritual assignment. Prayer is one of the simplest, yet most powerful spiritual disciplines that you can develop. It requires no special tools nor qualifications, yet it has the power to bring about miraculous changes for God’s glory.
My hope with this blog is that you will be encouraged to cultivate a rich prayer life that strengthens, empowers, and blesses you.
So the next time you feel troubled, irritated or aggravated, I hope that you remember this post and are provoked to prayer!