Good morning Emmanuel, God with us.  I receive and accept you as the ultimate gift in my life.

This morning I began my prayer time and I had so many deep, personal, prayer requests of people and friends, those which with whom I have formed relationships.

·      A young 23 year old waitress who is homeless living in her car

·      A couple single moms without transportation needing a vehicle to provide for their children.

·      A family of 6 living in a rent by week hotel who are about to be   homeless.

·      A young couple struggling and looking to divorce. Financial fears and looming possible bankruptcy of another couple.

·      Addictions of a father that is tearing a family apart.  

·      A family struggling with cancer.

·      And the list went on...

As I was praying I was saddened by all of the prayer requests I had.  But then I realized there was something could be sadder for me right now, and that would be not knowing anyone personally enough to deeply pray for them.  Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn…” (Matthew 5:4), because in order to mourn in prayer for someone, you first have to seek a relationship with them and be vulnerable enough to not only love them, but to allow them to love you.  

You have to go beyond the shallow level of engaging a person in your work place, church or other places and exchanging the auto-pilot responses to each other of ”I’m doing fine” and embrace the risk, compassion, and time required to create a safe environment that allows the “Not so fine” responses to be heard.   

Yesterday we celebrated God’s ultimate example of “going” and embracing the risk, having the compassion and investing the time required to enter into the “not so fine” struggles of our world.  Jesus became vulnerable to us. He embraced us just as we were and he intimately bore our burdens, mourned for us, and brought light and life into our darkness and pain.   We are called to imitate Christ and follow his example. “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2)

Take a moment and reflect on your prayer time.   Are there those you are praying for you encountered through going out, taking the risk, and investing the compassion and time required to allow other to share their “Not so fine” prayer requests?  General prayers for things like world peace and our government are good, however, who are those you mourn for in prayer because of an intimacy you sought and formed with them?  Pray today for a boldness to take the risk and go, and that God will give you the unmistakable opportunity to push past exchanges of “Doing fine” and into the “Not so fine.”

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (James 5:13-16)

Please share any reflections below in the comments block.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website: https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

 

Please support and partner with myself and my family with your end-of-year financial gift as we serve as local missionaries to those in our community  Donation checks can be made out to ODC, PO Box 1293 Madison, Al 35758.  Thank You!

 

 

 

 

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