Yesterday my reading in “Pray Big” was still regarding praying for others who are either struggling with faith or living life their own way. The author, Wll Davis, Jr., used the story of Jesus raising Lazarus to make his points about praying for others.
One of the points that really impacted me was praying that Jesus would meet people where they are—and that’s not typically in the church. Church, in fact, for most believers is the last place they want to be. Too much judgment. Too much perceived hypocracy. Too much that is unfamiliar and uncomfortable. And for most, too many painful memories. Why not instead pray that Jesus will ambush, interupt, come alongside them right where they are?
The thing that hit me freshly here was the very idea of praying Jesus would show up. I had often prayed that God would put someone in a person’s path who would direct them to God, but it never occurred to me to invite God directly into that person’s life. Seems pretty audacious, but isn’t that the kind of God we have? We, human beings, weren’t getting the message so well from others, not from prophets, priests, or kings, so God sent his son not only to teach about the way, but to walk it for us. His very name indicates his desire to enter into our messed up lives, Emmanuel—God with us.
Beyond just praying Jesus onto the scene of a person’s life was the new way of how that should and could happen. Imagining Jesus coming alongside someone in an Emmaus sort of way had a nice appeal, probably more so than blindingly bursting onto the scene in a Damascus Road (see Luke 24 and Acts 9). Yet either could be quite effective given a person’s particular situation or personality.
Reading this and thinking through it has truly energised my desire to pray for others. I feel like I gained more than a tool. In a new way, I realize I have a really huge ally and that feels really good!