Friday, August 3, 2012

Now I'm a WildCard.

My church does a prayer chain, where people can get word out to the entire church body to ask for immediate prayer, if something urgent happens.  They also publish a weekly prayer list in the bulletin.  It is a great comfort to know that your church family is lifting you up in prayer and I make a concerted effort to honor the prayer list and prayer chain in my own prayer life.  It also serves as a great reminder, as the prayer chain emails come into my inbox throughout the week, to pray ceaselessly.

My husband and I have always viewed “unspoken” prayer requests with at least a small amount of mirth.  I realize that second guessing someone’s prayer request is incredibly insensitive and probably doesn’t honor the things scriptures says about the need for and power of our petitions and praises to the Lord.  Nevertheless, it seems like there ought to be some way for a person to word their request that is at least somewhat more specific than “unspoken.”  Couldn’t they say “encouragement and support for a person in crisis?”  Couldn’t they say, “healing for a person’s pain?”  Something, anything, nonspecific and anonymous, that gives you more to go on than, basically, “just pray?”

Recently my husband received a prayer chain email on his blackberry, which I hadn’t gotten yet, because my email isn’t linked to my phone.  He alerted me that it was a prayer chain notice, and I asked what I should pray for and he said, “There’s two.  [Soandso] needs [suchandsuch], and WildCard.” I gave him a questioning look and he said, “You know, unspoken.”  It gave me a laugh, and I said a prayer, and we have since had an inside joke about “WildCard” prayer requests.  It doesn’t say what they want, so just pick something and pray about it for them.  Maybe they want the new shoes you’re praying they get, maybe they don’t; but at least you prayed.

So this week comes along.  I discovered some really tough truths about my life that I had previously failed to confront in their entirety.  I have some major challenges ahead of me, and it is going to affect my relationships – some in a potentially calamitous way.  I can’t talk about it; I can’t give more detail than that.  But I need, I covet, your prayers. 

So, I apologize to anyone who previously has made an “unspoken” prayer request, for my callous disregard for your need for privacy and the challenges you were facing.  Like that email, I make two requests: please pray for my friends and loved ones to have patience with me and honor the ways that they may notice our relationship changing, and WildCard.

 Always be joyful and never stop praying.  Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18