I have been amazed lately at how much prayer is a complete game changer.
My friends are and have always had a significant impact on my life, they provide clarity, perspective, laughter, tears, and stability. The Friends I have at work, friends at home, friends from church, friends from home/school/various places I have lived. Friends change my outlook on life, on my perspective of the world, and even my perspective of God and the things He is doing in my life. But, what I had not been considering or thinking about is how much prayer ties me to them and becomes a force entirely different.
I have been thinking a lot about how involved I feel in the lives of my friends now that I am making a real concerted effort to pray for the things going on in their lives... I mean for a couple years now I have my 3x5 cards that I write prayers on, not every prayer I pray, and usually not menial prayers, but regardless I have definitely seen God's faithfulness come through because of the documentation of my prayers. However, lately I have been really working at praying through situations that impact my heart or the situations I spend a lot of time thinking about. Some of the things I find myself praying for, my friends have asked me to pray about, some have just updated me on their perspectives or the situation they are facing, and still other situations I am praying because it has been laid pretty heavily on my heart.
I never really considered before the idea of how much of a game changer increasing due to the amount of time I spend before the Lord on behalf of my friends. I mean, it makes TOTAL sense... But, I have never really experienced it in this way, this strongly or this viscerally. I am finding that I have key triggers reminding me to pray all the time now.. when I lay down to sleep, when I drive to work in the morning, (depending on the day) when I drive home at night... when friend's text message me.. when I get e-mails.. And now I have begun praying while I run... (although there are definitely days I struggle for focus)... One thing has become clear, I feel closer to them, close to God, and much more at peace the more I am praying for my friends (and family too).
I had never thought about the feelings associated with someone else's situation, and the level of involvement I feel purely because I am praying for it... Not meaning drama or assuming someone else's troubles (I do that if I do not pray for them/the situation). The amount of joy I feel when something happens in the life of a friend that I had been praying for is ridiculous.. the level of sorrow I feel when the situation does not turn out how we had prayed for, and yet how much my faith, my understanding, my hope, and my confidence that the Lord will be glorified in the end is solidified more than I have ever experienced before... It really is awesome, and exciting.. and very perplexing to experience...
This week has been a rough week at work.. for lots of reasons, but last night I laid in bed and just began asking God to solve the problems, restore what has been broken, and that enough is enough, the devil has had plenty of time to play in the halls of my building... So, this morning, I woke up early, went into work about half an hour earlier than I typically do, and walked the halls praying... What is interesting is that my building's halls are a circle... every floor is set up in a circle. So, I started in the basement, walked around each floor touching the walls as I walked and praying for God to come, to invade, to bring His peace, and to restore what should rightfully be His. A couple times I stopped and said hello and touched base with a few co-workers, and then continued on my way... five floors and about 30 minutes later, I felt better, I felt like hope was restored, and that even though I felt silly initially as I made my way down to the basement to begin my prayer circles, I also knew I needed to be faithful, that I would laugh if anyone asked what I was doing, but I would tell them... Because, I believe that my God is exactly who He says He is, and I believe He will come.
Prayer is a game changer... I am just now beginning to realize how much I do not truly comprehend this concept. I mean I should, I have after all experienced God's presence and impact in my life for 27 years now, but at the same time I am really excited that I do not get it... because that means there is more to get, and I will not get bored haha! And, it is pretty intense and exciting because of the possibilities that are presented because of this fact!