“effective, fervent prayer”
So I went to the doctor yesterday. It was the first in a series of a dozen or so appointments I will have in the next six weeks or so, for treatment for an inner ear disorder, that will hopefully eliminate the dizziness and headaches I’ve been experiencing on a near-daily basis, since last January.
Maybe it will cure me of my tendencies to write run-on sentences, too.
This isn’t the first attempt I’ve made to solve this problem. I’ve been to four different doctors (with four different specialties), had tests done, taken prescriptions, taken vitamins, changed my diet, changed my exercise routine, we replaced the carpets in our home with wood floors (in case it was an allergy), and purchased a new mattress. None of this has helped.
So you can understand that I’m very hopeful that this is the solution. And as I drove to the office yesterday, I was wishing that I’d contacted a few of my prayer warriors to be praying for me. But I almost immediately realized how confusing that would be, for a couple reasons.
First, I’m not entirely sure how many friends I’ve told about this problem. Most of them I don’t see on a regular basis, and if the last time I saw them I only had time for, “Fine; how are you?” then maybe I’ve never mentioned it. Others I’m sure I’ve told, but I don’t know at what point I’ve updated them.
Secondly, I have several angles which need prayer:
~ for our finances, as the co-pays are going to be adding up, and Christmas is on its way
~ for my schedule, as it’s tight enough and now I have to take away a few hours a week to devote to these appointments
~ for my health over the course of the next six weeks, as I’ve been warned that the treatments often make the condition worse before they make it better
~ for my productivity at home, that my family and my responsibilities won’t suffer if I’m not at my best
I thought to myself, “I would feel ridiculous asking for such a complicated prayer request!” Which was quickly followed by the realization that if I asked for prayer from them, I wouldn’t need to complicate it. Years ago I learned how effectively people can pray, even without details. First of all, these folks have good sense and an ability to see all the angles in a given situation. I know they’d pray for aspects that I haven’t even considered.
Even more, is the influence of the Holy Spirit in our prayers. Romans 8:26 says, “the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us“. I know my friends would be guided by the Holy Spirit in their prayers for me, and who knows better than He does what I need?
But here’s the most special thought that came to me, “Truly, I don’t even need to ask.” There are people in my life for whom I pray, for no particular reason. I might be reading my Bible, or sitting in church, or even driving to the store or something, when all of a sudden I’ll find myself thinking about someone important to me. So I’ll pray for them. I may not even know how they need prayer, but He does. So I pray. And I know they do the same for me.
Of course, a complicated or even embarrassing prayer request is no reason not to ask. Prayer is crucial, and we need to know that asking for prayer for ourselves is just as important as praying for others. But it’s also sweet to know that there are people who pray for us, at times or in ways that we will never know or fully appreciate.