When you say your prayers at night, what do you pray for? Better yet, who do you pray for?
For most of my life, the answers to those questions would be that I pray for myself and the things that I want to see happen. My night time prayers have always been very me focused. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with spending time with God and praying for the things that you want or need. I don’t feel like I was ever “wrong” for praying for myself and for those things.
Lately though I’m realizing that by focusing on me I missed out on a lot.
For whatever reason, I had the urge to pray for one of our students the other night. I learned a long time ago that when I get the sudden urge to pray for something or somebody that there’s a good chance that there’s a reason behind it. I don’t always know the reason but I know it’s God telling me to pray for them. So that night I spent some time praying for that student and then went to my me-list.
And then another student’s name popped in my head.
And then another.
The more I prayed for our students and my friends that are in high school, the more I enjoyed it. After a night or two of this, I remember laying there and praying, “Alright God, who’s next? Who do you want me to pray for next?” Then a name would pop in my head and I’d pray for them. The prayer a lot of the times went something like this:
God, I don’t know exactly what’s going on in _____’s life. You do though. I ask that whatever it is that they need that you give them that. If it’s comfort, comfort them. If they need help out of a bad situation, be that help. Whatever it is, I ask that you be that for them.
And then I’d move on to the next student.
The crazy thing is, through all of this, I was enjoying my prayer time more than I had in a long time. The even crazier thing is that as I went forward with praying for students, I’d start asking what I needed to pray for and I’d start remembering stuff I’d seen on Facebook or little bits and pieces of stories that person had told me and I’d pray for that specific thing right there on the spot. There’s even one student that I’ve been praying would make the decision to follow Jesus tonight at FUEL.
The more I’ve prayed for our students, the more specific the things to pray for have become.
The more I’ve prayed for our students, the more I’ve realized that my me-list doesn’t matter as much as I once thought.
The more I’ve prayed for our students, the more fun and fulfilling my prayer times have been.
When you sit down to pray sometime today, whether it be throughout the day or tonight before bed, I dare you to ask God to show you who he wants you to pray for. Once he does, I dare you to pray for that person. If we all started praying for each other instead of focusing on ourselves there’s no telling what would happen. We’d see things we couldn’t even imagine start to happen in us and around us.
Jesus said to love everyone just like you love yourself.
Part of that is praying for everyone just like you pray for yourself.
I dare you to do it and see if it doesn’t change your life.