Do you ever promise to pray for someone and then forget? I do. I try to solve that problem by praying at just the moment the request is made, while it is on my mind, but other times, the prayer needs to be done closer to an event, or more than once.
Do you ever pray for someone, and feel like your job is done? "I said my prayer; I'm done!"
Are you ever in a situation and feel God move you to pray? Last week, I was involved in our worship service -- involved meaning my attention was caught by it -- I was worshipping. At that moment, a friend came to mind, and I prayed. I wonder now if God triggered that prayer, and if the request was needed right then.
A few weeks ago, I was in church, and the same thing happened, except that this time I was praying for the person right in front of me, who was delivering the sermon. The sermon was going well; there seemed to be to me no reason why the prayer was needed, but later that person told me that he had prayed during the sermon for God to be in control, so I think my prayer coincided with his, and I think God prompted my prayer.
Why would that be? Why would God prompt me to pray for something he already knew about? Why would he ask me to pray for something that he was going to do anyway?
I think the answer lies in a concept Yancey calls partnership in his Prayer book. He brought forth the point that God desires to be in partnership with his children to do his work in the world. He says, "from the very beginning, God has relied on human parterns to advance the process of creation."
God wants so much for us to be in partnership, that he comes, grasps us by the shoulder, and says, "Pray. Pray now for this reason. Be my partner."
The partnership binds so tight that it becomes hard to distinguish who is doing what, God or the human partner. God has come that close...the advance in intimacy is striking.Image: Sunrise on the way to work the other day.