Last night I was woken up by a new direction for Sunday's sermon. Of course, Lord, You couldn't do that on Monday when I had not worked all day Tuesday on the sermon... :) ANd also to pray for two people. Whenever I get woken up like that, I have to pray...
And today on Twitter, someone said something like intercessory prayer is being willing to lay down your life for the person you're praying for. Maybe so, maybe not, but it's worth thinking about.
Nadia did not want to take a nap today, but she sure needed it. I held her until she fell asleep, then put her in her crib. I regularly think about the mystery of a baby... you can know them for less than a day, from the moment they are born and you feel you could never live without them... And indeed, I can pray deeply (according to the definition above) for Nadia or Joe or John or Jessie because I would, simply, quickly, with no thought, lay down my life for them.
I made the mistake some time ago of asking the Lord to break my heart for people who don't know Jesus and that I would love the poor like they are my own children. I think, no, I know, that the difficult parts of my life socially come from that prayer. It's not that I live out the answer to that prayer as fully or even as often as I should. It really is bad form to talk too much about spiritual "lostness." Not a great conversation starter at parties. Doesn't always go over well in worship! And to really take care of the poor, well, you have to do things that people who also want to take care of the poor think is the wrong thing to do!
But today, slapping some ribs on the smoker I really had a hard time thinking about all the people who don't know Jesus in Morehead. So much prayer it's going to take. And... would I lay down my life for them? So much work to do in my heart before I am a good shepherd.