This morning I found some quiet time at my apartment, and seized it to spend some time in the book of John, then followed that time up with prayer over the scripture I meditated on, then prayer for others. Lately I haven't spent much time praying for others as I've promised I would. Honestly sometimes I am quick so say I will pray for you in this, but slower than a snail in remembering to pray that request as the week and month moves on. Maybe I'm not alone in that. Maybe many others also promise to pray because is the christian thing to do, but never carry out the promise.
This morning I actually took some time to pray for some guys in a small group I co-lead. I started with requests they each had made known recently, then moved from there. Before I go further let me add that when I pray I like to pause. I don't do this as much when I'm praying for a group of believers in worship, but when the setting is more informal, you can expect me to pause in my prayers.
I picked this up first from a campus minister at UNC-W. I've noticed my own campus minister here at ECU doing this now (or maybe I just now noticed!) and I recall a great friend from Indiana doing the same. For me, I like to take time to pause for two reasons. One to enjoy the moment as I'm coming into the presence of God, and secondly, to listen to him speaking, as opposed to talking the whole time. My prayer times have become so much richer through that method.
Back to this morning. As I was praying and pausing, I felt God whisper, pray this over them, and I began to pray. Shortly thereafter, another friend sent me a text asking for prayer, but didn't specify any reasons. Not knowing what to pray for, I listened and prayed. God ended up taking my prayer and led me to pray over their spiritual well being. Later they confirmed that they were under spiritual attack.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Romans 8:26-27
I firmly believe that if we give God time in our prayers, He will speak to us and tell us what to pray for. But check this out too, and I myself just noticed this, the Spirit prays for us! The Holy Spirit of God prays for us, and guides others to pray over us too (when they listen and act on his nudging)!
Next time you're praying, throw out the time limit, DON'T talk the whole time (LISTEN), and ask God what else you can pray for.
"Be quick to listen, slow to speak..." James 1:19