My friend Cherie gave me a Daily Lenten Devotional guide that we are both reading and chatting about every once in a while. Each day has a selection from the writings of Henri Nouwen, a verse and a one liner prayer. Yesterday's selection was quite good, and I wanted to share it with you.
"Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joful noise to him with songs of praise!" Psalm 95:20
"Every prayer of petition becomes a prayer of thanksgiving and praise as well, precisely because it is a prayer of hope... Our numerous requests simply become the concrete way of saying that we trust in the fullness of God's goodness, which he wants to share with us."
"Every prayer we pray, heavenly Father, is a sign of our love, our hope and our trust in you."
So if you feel that your 'shopping lists' of praying for people is not that deeply spiritual, take heart - you are being thankful and hopeful and praising.
I took it a slightly different way, because in the last weeks, we've become aware of 3 marriages - friends we are close to - that are on the rocks. How do you pray for that? Sometimes I tend towards despair - what can I do? Sometimes I get mad, honestly - Why don't they get it? Why don't they just love each other like they were the most amazing gift in the world? Reflecting on this reading gave me a calmness and hope. I can just pray for them, however that looks, and know that just by praying, I am showing hope that God has a better plan for them. I am trusting in him for their situations.
And then a song by Casting Crowns came on - Praise You in this Storm. I've added it to my playlist so you can listen. A couple of lines I really liked:
"you are who you are no matter where I am"
"though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm"
So I will keep praying and trusting. And if you would, please pray for these 3 couples. Thanks.