My guest blogger today is my new friend, the incredibly warm and friendly Liz Gold. Initially it was the name of her website that got my attention, God Speaks & Sometimes I Listen. The name hit home for me…we connected and the a new friendship was born. Today in her post, Liz writes about praying for people, all people, whether you agree with them or not.
Pray for all People
One of my favorite apps on my phone is YouVersion. Even though I’m not very good at finishing them, I love their selection of reading plans and have done several over the years. The name for my blog is a derivative of a plan I finished this past spring! I also love the widget on my phone where I can have the bible verse of the day on my home screen. It’s just enough to give me the encouragement I need to get through the day. It’s also thought-provoking and challenges me to really start a dialogue with the Comforter Himself about what’s going on in my life. However, there are some verses I see that hit me so hard I don’t even know what to think or how to process the information. Regardless, I know it means something, and I know God is calling me to action. Nothing is coincidence when it comes to God.
Today’s bible verse of the day is 1 Timothy 2:1-2, but I’m going to break it down by verse:
First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to Him.
1 Timothy 2:1 (NCV)
We get caught up in our own lives pretty easily, don’t you think? It’s so simple to get bogged down with the motions of everyday life that we pray a lot for what we need / want. And that’s not inherently a bad thing! We absolutely should pray for provision for ourselves. But what about others? Our friends? Our family? The beggar you see on the street corner on your way to work every morning?
Pray for all of them. I mean, REALLY pray. Like, Matthew 6:6 kind of pray.
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a very selfish malcontent – forever dissatisfied with whatever circumstances I find myself in. I often pray for things that I know deep down I’m not ready for, just because I’m jealous that someone else has “it” and I don’t (whatever “it” may be). Suddenly I’m struck by the Holy Spirit and my perspective changes, even if just for a minute.
This happened to me a few days ago. Eric and I are preparing to go on vacation, and my best friend is going to be looking after our cats while we’re gone. Anyone who knows me is aware of how much I love those two, and I wouldn’t trust anyone else but her while we’re away. As I was writing out the care instructions and texting her back and forth about what will need to be done, I found myself thinking, “Good granny… she’s not stupid! She knows how to take care of pets, she knows how to take care of an apartment. Have you bothered to ask her how she’s doing?!”
Oh dear. Her dad just died a month ago (not a long time in the grand scheme of grief), and I got so caught up in my vacation planning that I didn’t even ask her how she was doing. I KNOW this kind of sadness. I KNOW this kind of hurt, and I never bothered with her feelings – all I cared about was me.
Do you ever turn on the TV only to see the horrible things going on across the globe? People being run out of their homes, children being beheaded, families being ripped apart at the seams… this world is a horrible tragedy
and I for one would rather stick my head in the sand and read about George Clooney’s wedding than hear about the disgusting atrocities humans are putting upon other humans. Therein lies the problem – we stick our heads in the sand. And I’m totally guilty of that.
I think it’s easy to for us to say, “I will never cross paths with these people. What could my prayer possibly do?” Well, first of all, that’s a great question – what is my prayer going to do? Honestly, you never know. But in the above verse, God calls us to pray for ALL people, even the ones we don’t know.
I find it hard to pray for things like that, because it means I have to actually think about the incredibly scary circumstances of others. Things that I just can’t wrap my mind around, or that I emotionally cannot handle. But God calls us to live outside of our comfort zone. He wants us to face the world and be courageous, even if that only means in prayer.
The message is simple – pray for everyone.
Verse of the day part 2:
Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God.
1 Timothy 2:2 (NCV)
This is a touchy subject, especially because not everyone believes in God. But that’s another topic for another day, so let’s look at it from another perspective.
Have you ever thought about praying for our world leaders? I don’t. Not normally, anyway. I think it’s easy for us to fall into that trap because we all have VERY strong political opinions about issues in this country and across the world. Pro-this, anti-that – it just doesn’t stop. And we beat each other down and accuse each other of bigotry and discrimination because we may not agree with someone else. My guess is the same thing is happening within that political realm, but we only see what the media gives us. Here’s an easy example.
Take President Obama. Leader of the free world, commander-in-chief, head decision-maker, and probably one of the most controversial leaders we’ve ever had as a country. Depending on what side of the fence you sit, he could be a number of things. But it all boils down to you either agree with his policies or you don’t.
I’m definitely not his biggest fan. I was raised in a conservative family, I married into a conservative family – I AM a conservative by nature, and I don’t apologize for it. Sometimes when I hear him talk I get so angry, I just don’t even know what to do with myself.
You know what though? He might be the leader of our country, but he’s just a man. He has a wife, he has kids, and he tries to provide for his family. There is a completely different side to him than what we see as citizens of the United States. He is under more pressure than most of us will ever experience in a lifetime. And I’m willing to bet that if any of us spent a day in the life of this man, we would crawl in a corner and cry.
When I hear him talk about things like healthcare, waging war on ISIS, and other policies, I feel sorry for him. You can debate his religion and his views all you want, and you can dislike him all you want, but as Christians, we are called to pray for him. It’s as simple as that. He’s just a man, and all men (and leaders) need prayer.
Take a minute today and ask yourself, “Have I prayed…”
For my family?
For the friend who is lost in a sea of grief?
For the homeless?
For the orphans?
For world leaders?
For my enemies?
Liz is a website editor and lives with her husband, Eric, and two cats in Indianapolis, IN. While she adores her job, her true passions are writing and photography. She’s experienced a lot in her mere 29 years and by starting her blog, she’s hoping to pass on what she’s learned to those who are experiencing hardships in their lives. She doesn’t profess to know much of anything, but what she DOES know is that God is good – through everything. Want to know more? Check out her blog: God Speaks& Sometimes I Listen .http://lizgoldwrites.wordpress.com/