In a few weeks, a friend will undergo major surgery. It is a newish procedure that, if successful, could significantly improve his quality of life. But if it’s not successful, well, let’s not go there. My friend has tons of hope. However, he also admits very honestly that he has a good deal of fear. And who wouldn’t? But he is dealing with it in wonderful way, I think. He is asking for prayer.
Not just ordinary, casual, “will you pray for me as the Lord brings me to mind” kind of prayer, though. He has let his friends know that he would very much appreciate having written prayers sent to him before the surgery. That way the words of our prayers can encourage his heart and his faith as he waits.
I love that idea. Often when people ask me for prayer, I say “Sure, I’ll pray for you.” And I do. But my friends don’t usually get to hear the prayers I pray. Plus, when I pray for people on my own, I don’t always put the thought into it that I put into a crafted prayer that I actually write down.
When I wrote my prayer for my friend, I asked the Lord what to pray. I listened to His reply. I sought Scriptures that supported the things He led me to pray. The resulting written prayer included phrases and ideas from God’s Word that I hope will encourage and comfort my friend, as well as strengthen his faith.
And, the written prayer, sent weeks ahead of time, can be read and prayed many times in the days leading up the surgery day. He can pray it, I can pray it. Somehow, the discipline of writing that crafted prayer seemed to place my friend more firmly in my heart, so that I think to pray for him more often, and with more faith.
I probably won’t be writing out prayers for every person who asks me to pray for them. But for loved ones experiencing the high levels of hope and fear that anticipated surgery typically prompts, I think it’s a wonderful idea.
Have any of you ever been on the giving or receiving end of this kind of praying. What has it been like for you?