The troubled man scarcely bothered to take a breath as he poured out his unhappiness over his host of issues. He was a true victim and wanted me and others to share in his pain. And, yes, it was painful!
What I knew from many earlier conversations was that the present 30 minute survey of his broken life (and he, indeed, has a number of challenges) would be similar to those that had gone before: it was massively lopsided. In our exchange of words my few comments were swamped by his sea of concerns. My sole role, I knew, was to say every now and then, “Oh, that’s terrible!” or, “I’m so sorry for you!” Prior efforts in many earlier conversations to confront my friend’s self-consumed pathos, or to redirect our themes to some more constructive pathways, had always been met with anger and more self-pity.
For the balance of this entry, please go to: Lessons in Listening
2 Timothy 3:16,17 asserts God’s word as given by inspiration of God and profitable for a whole host of internal change: reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness.
Several years ago I began to implement something practical in the way of prayer that I have found corporately and personally beneficial:
Using little business cards, I jot down an individual’s name and need on one side….and then I go to prayer asking the Lord to match the individual’s need with a key Scripture on the other. The Lord has never failed to provide me with a specific and intentional verse.
I pray that verse faithfully into the individual’s life for a year, at which time I may feel compelled to replace it with a new Scripture. I also share with the individual the Scripture at work in them. This has been a rich blessing on both sides.
Interestingly, my memory of God’s word has grown in leaps and bounds, and I can readily assert passages of Scripture because of this beautiful and systematic approach to prayer.
So effective has it been that a small group of intercessors has begun to pray for members of our church in such a fashion once a week.
Lesson: It is impossible to not come away strengthened in spirit and truth through the excellent avenues called prayer……and for those bent on seeking attention with their issues and problems; they leave my presence with a specific and loving hedge of prayer and scripture surrounding them.
I’m growing excited and passionate about the area called prayer because I’m witnessing God’s power in lives all around me…and I”m seeing it play out in my own life.
Thanks, Darrelyn! Good words.