The Joy of Praying For Others

Keith KettenringPrayer & Fasting, The Uncommon Journey

For 7 weeks, beginning February 27 and ending April 15, I was honored to pray for over 140 people every morning and evening. There were also countries, life situations, and a few marital situations prayed for. Sadly, during this time, two people mentioned on the prayer list, died. Yet, it was great to connect through prayer with many I do not know personally. It was also a delight to connect with personal friends every time I mentioned their name. 

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At first, I felt overwhelmed by the needs of some of you who are friends I love so much. You carry heavy burdens that would crush you if not for the sustaining grace and mercy of God. Tears flowed on your behalf as I simply shared your burdens. 

As I continued, praying for people on the list became a joyful engagement connecting my heart to yours and to God’s heart, as well. It was a privilege. I felt honored to stand with you in prayer.

It’s such a simple thing – asking God’s mercy for people. Yet, I was surprised that some people were hesitant to provide names. I’m happy for all that did. 

We’ve been “trained” to look for answers to prayer – outcomes – to determine if our prayers were effective. I don’t approach prayer that way. My role is to pray, not to “get” something. Praying for God’s mercy to be experienced in your lives is enough. God knows what that means for each individual. I do not. I’m sure many of you saw God’s mercy confirmed over the past couple months. 

I will remember the 2017 Lenten season as the prayer season due to this “experiment.” Lent is also about fasting and almsgiving. Yet, prayer took on a new significance for me this year. 

Thank you for all who gave requests and names. We are now bonded with a special “prayer glue” that unites us in Christ. Though I will not be praying for those on this list as consistently as I did the past 7 weeks, no one on the list will be forgotten. 

Prayer is a mystery. You and I are called to enter into it, for it is happening in heaven and on earth every moment. We don’t make prayer happen. We enter into what’s already going on. That is what this adventure has been about – uniting with the Trinity as they commune with one another in mercy and love. 

Thanks be to God for all things! 

Dr. K