We say it (or at least I do) but what does it mean? Years ago, for me it was little more than a platitude. It wasn't much different than saying "I'm thinking about you." These days, it means a lot more to me than that.
Today I'm praying for the healing of a beautiful young woman who was injured in a head-on collision. She's in trauma. Her breathing tube bothers her and as desperately as she needs it, she desperately wants it out. I know where she's coming from. I've been there. I can be empathetic. I can share my compassion. But most importantly, I pray that God hears our cries for mercy. That He helps her relax and stop fighting the invasion of her body and that she find peace. She has to accept the foreign nature of her medical treatment. I'm imagining a fiercely independent individual who must learn to trust, to let others do their thing, and to allow herself to suffer so she can heal. I'm not sure where she was in her walk of faith a week ago. I pray that she lets her spirit reach out now. That she allows the prayers to wrap themselves around her like a shield. That she is able to drink in the faith of others like a tonic that nurtures her soul. That she is able to use the strength of others like a crutch while she mends.
She will never be who she was. She will be someone new. No matter how different, with God's help she will be better.
Ashley, you are in my prayers.
I'm also praying for a woman I know even less about, but like Ashley, she is important to someone I care about. What I do know is that she has thyroid cancer. God, I pray that you are able to heal her body and sustain her soul. Carry her through the process. Be with her and her family as they struggle with this disease. Be by her side and let her feel your awesome presence. Be with her sister, help her know your peace.
J.Pare, you are in my prayers. Sister Pare, my friend, you are in my prayers.
And, I'm praying for a woman who struggles with her internal demons. I am not aware of any scars that you or I might notice if we met her in the retail store where she works. Her scars are within. She is beautiful inside and out, but she doubts herself and fights for freedom from all that plagues her. God, be with her and let her know that she is loved, lovable, loving.
Flutter, you are in my prayers.
I'm praying for a woman who recently broke up with a man she is better off without. One of her precious pets passed away. She grieves for her lost loves. My heart breaks for her and I pray that she her broken heart heals. God, touch her heart and mend her as her days are increasingly brightened.
Cha Cha, you are in my prayers.
I'm praying for a friend who is near and dear, who I am physically able to hug on a regular basis, and yet I may be no more articulate in letting her know... she is in my prayers. Her cat is dying. Her dog just had surgery. Financial concerns lurk, inevitably, during these trying times. God, help maintain peace in the face of the storms.
Jeanette, you are in my prayers.
Life is never easy, but sometimes it's too much like a right cross, left jab, right uppercut in the ring. God, be with us. Be our corner-man. Shout out directions that we can't miss. Keep our attention during brief periods of respite. Mend us, patch us up, keep us in the ring. I pray to You for all of the people I know who need You...that's all of the people I know. They are in my prayers and that means a lot. Thank you for hearing me.