Secret Fears

Our email prayerline reminds us that most people are not consumed with worry about LIBOR, Leveson or the presidential election in the States. They worry about cancer, children, foreclosure, exam results, jobs and family finances. The big questions debated in the media are acknowledged, but it is the personal that predominates. We may be concerned about climate change or the future of the NHS but the secret fears we voice in prayer tend to be much more individual. Yes, I want to pray for all sick children, but especially my son/daughter whom I love so much I can scarcely bring myself to name what I dread. The aching tenderness of these petitions makes the gift of the Son of God and his death on the Cross all the more to be marvelled at. Truly he is a God of tenderness and compassion.

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5 thoughts on “Secret Fears”

  1. You are quite right. I pray for the big things, but specifics tend to be much closer to home. For those I know, those I love and for issues that impact on us day to day.

    One of the things that I’ve found is that you can overstress yourself and sour your prayer life if you try to pray for to much in one go. I suspect that little and often is better than lots and less often.

    I have the privilege of leading intercessions at three of the five churches in our Benefice, on a rota, which gives time for reflection and to pray for specifics for each particular church. It allows the petitions to be both timely and relevant.

    Personal prayer comes through the Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication (ACTS) process, which work so well and allows a certain discipline within prayer life.

  2. There is a discipline in praying for people we have never met and whose faces we have never seen. It is wonderful that, by God’s grace, we can be involved in the Arab Spring – in a mysterious but real way. I think spontaneous prayers often arise more easily and frequently for those we know and love – and maybe that’s part of being who we are – I can’t really be all things to all people, but if I can be something to some people, then maybe I am living out my God- given calling?

  3. I often see the air ambulance helicopters taking off and landing at two of the hospitals in our city, one of them a children’s hospital, as well as mortuary traffic from the nearby coroner’s facility. I pray for all the people involved in these comings and goings in case no one else is doing so. These prayers are usually offered up while I am busy in the kitchen cooking or cleaning up, on the spot shout outs to God.

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