“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…” Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
Have you ever thought about praying outside the lines, taking a different perspective, interceding from the other person’s point of view? Maybe – maybe not. Consider the following prayer:
Heavenly Father please help me remember that the doddering old lady inching her way down the supermarket aisle and blocking my progress isn’t doing so to annoy me but because her arthritis is so painful she can’t move any faster.
Heavenly Father please help me remember that the driver in the car ahead of me who cut me off, caused me to slam on the brakes, rattled my nerves, and still isn’t aware of my existence, is a young father deep in thought because he’s just been fired and is wondering how he’s going to break the news to his wife and three young children.
Heavenly Father please help me remember that the clerk with a scowl on her face and sullen ways is troubled because she’s locked in an abusive relationship with a boyfriend who treats her like dirt.
Heavenly Father please help me remember that the rude, aggressive, in my face relative is the way he is because he had a father who said he’d never amount to anything, constantly put him down, and kicked him out to fend for himself the day he turned eighteen.
Remind me Lord that the bag lady who begs for money outside the post office every day is a slave to addictions beyond her control.
Then Lord, as You well know, there’s the red spiky hair, pierced lip and eyebrow, black garbed, chain dangling teenager who struts down the sidewalk with a defiant stare for anyone who catches his eye. Remind me of how he’s desperate for attention, searching for real love, looking for answers, wondering if anyone truly cares.
I could go on Lord. You know all about the grumpy neighbour whose wife passed away last year after an agonizing struggle with ovarian cancer. You know about the disinterested college student at the hardware store who gave me the wrong fasteners because he was apprehensive over his final exams and hadn’t heard whether or not he was going to get a student loan for the next semester. And You know about the florid faced woman who ignores me every time I greet her because she’s fighting a battle with the bottle and trying to pluck up courage to attend Alcoholics Anonymous . . .