So back to my friend who is gay (if you are not up to speed, see “My Sin is Prettier than your Rainbow Bumper Sticker” blog from 9/26/13). This morning I was praying for her the “assignment” God gave me six months ago; that my friend would sense and feel and know and believe God’s love for her. Most days however I pray 1) because I know I should pray for her and 2) because I know if there is any hope for my friend to know that Jesus loves her, it will take divine intervention. I realized this morning that most days I am praying quite unconsciously, believing unconsciously that this is never going to happen. I am praying hoping and wishing that my friend will fully understand and believe that Jesus Christ loves her (just as she is), trusts that God understands her struggles and temptations (“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” Hebrews 4:15) and knows that God loves her too much to leave her where she is. That is how I pray; hoping, wishing and ultimately doubting. Do I believe God can help my friend know and love and trust in Him? Yes. If it did happen would I stand in complete disbelief that she actually wants to follow Jesus? Absolutely.
But this morning I did not pray that way. This morning I thought about what I was praying (meta-prayer-nition) and I began to pray and believe that God was going to show my friend His love today. I prayed and asked God to show her His love so mightily and so powerfully that she would not be able to deny that it was from Him. For some reason today I realized how much my prayers for my friend have been lacking any… um, faith. I realized I pray most days completely unbelieving that my friend will ever read God’s Word because she wants to (we meet every month to study the Bible) or pray just because she loves God or that she will ever give her life over to all that it entails to be a follower of Jesus Christ. I have been completely disillusioned that she can’t stand Christians and what how they treat gays in Jesus’ name (can’t say that I blame her). I have been utterly frustrated that she does not seem to have any other people in her life who love Jesus and are pointing her toward Him (rather than condemning and shaming her). My prayers have been completely tainted by what I see happening rather than trusting the power and love and bigness of the God I know and follow (and worst of all, my friend is not the only person/situation/time I pray these sad, faithless and unbelieving prayers).
“Dear Lord, Thank you for my sweet friend. Thank you that you are crazy, madly in love with her right now. Thank you that you are crazy, madly in love with me in my sinfulness right now too (since again, You don’t have a list of nice sins and sins that are not as palatable). I thank you that I can pray trusting that you can and will do a mighty work in her and see it through to completion. Thank you that you have great things in store for those who love and fear You so help me trust You with that for my friend. Help me to continue to show your love to my friend and help me to persevere in my time with her and in my prayers for her in a way that reflect what I really believe about you, your power and your love for each one of us. In Your Name, Amen.”