This devotional was emailed to me today. It really made me think.
Prayers of the Destitute
by Julie Cosgrove
“He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer” (Psalm 102:17).
In one church we attended before we moved away, the congregation every Sunday during the service would pray the weekly list for the sick, the pregnant, the soldiers, those traveling, those in the mission field and those who had died.
People could add their own requests out loud, but at the end of the list, the pastor always added, “and for those for whom nobody else prays.” In the church where we are now, we pray a similar list, but there is also a place in the service to pray for those “whose faith is known to God alone”.
How sad to think that there are people out there in this world who are so isolated and alone that no one is praying for them or knows about the state of their faith. But the alone and hurting do exist all around us. They may be sleeping under bridges, or in ten bedroom mansions. They may be digging through trash cans or digging into their pockets to purchase the latest high tech toy.
Destitution is not necessarily an economic thing. It is always a spiritual one.
Yet, I believe we are called to pray for them, and are prompted by the Holy Spirit to do so. Prayer never falls deaf upon God’s ears. He hears every whisper and every scream. He hears every sentence spoken out loud as well as those which are so deep inside our souls, we just can’t muster up enough gumption to voice them. God does respond, even though we cannot feel it. One way is by asking others to join in our prayer.
Prayer is so much more powerful than we can ever imagine. It can reach across thousands of miles or just down the street. It can touch the heart of the person sitting in the pew next to us, or a lost soul under the shadow of a downtown cathedral steeple clear across the country. It can touch someone who has lost the ability to hear the church bells chime, children laughing or the birds singing because their minds are so filled with the sounds of hatred, anger or despondency. Prayer can reach into the crevices of a heart cracked from hurt and pain. It can filter through the closed doors of doubt. It can touch the lives of people we will never know, as well as those we think we know . . . and change them.
If God has placed a thought on your heart, or a name of a person, or even an image, please take time to stop and say a prayer. It just may be the Holy Spirit prompting you to lift up another soul. Prayer brings miracles into action, sends the devil fleeing and heals hidden wounds. Never underestimate the power of a simple upward lifted prayer.
Know this: when you are down and discouraged, when despair creeps in and you can’t find the words to send up to Heaven, God has already placed you on someone else’s heart. Someone on this earth, as well as the Son in Heaven amongst the throngs of angels, is praying for you.
Questions: Who has God prompted you to pray for today? What do you need someone else to pray about for you? Let us know.