I’m still learning to pray. Most of the time I tend pray general prayers rather than specific. At best this is a reflection of my lack of creativity. I’m just not that good at thinking of things to ask for. At worst this is a reflection of my own lack of faith. “If I ask for something too specific and it doesn’t get answered then what?” I love what John 15:7 says I just don’t always pray in light of that promise.
Recently Erika and I were challenged by another family who has adopted. I’ll guarantee you this woman did not mean to challenge us when she told Erika their story of adopting from China. But the Holy Spirit used it like a sledge hammer in my heart. A few years ago they adopted a little boy with special needs from China. They had the audacity to pray that their little boy would have significant contact with other people in his orphanage. They prayed he would be held, hugged and loved. This is no insignificant thing in a Chinese orphanage. Plus, they prayed that he would have already heard the name of Jesus. THEN, they prayed that he would be familiar with the English language.
Do you see what I mean about creative, specific praying? My prayer that God would help us bring him home soon pales in comparison to the way these people are coming before their Father in heaven specifically on behalf of their little boy!
So they get to China, pick up their boy and can’t figure out how to make him eat. For a couple of days their struggling until one afternoon an American woman walks up to them and asks is that “_______” from such and such orphanage? Why yes it is. They talk about their problem with the woman who then goes out and buys exactly what the little guy likes to eat from the local Wal-Mart. (Who knew they had Wal-Mart over there?) You can probably see where this is going.
They soon discover that this American young woman had moved to China to serve in THAT orphanage. She is a Christian. She had been holding, singing to AND telling their little boy about Jesus. Oh, AND because of her influence he understood some English.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
We are working to change how we pray. I know this doesn’t count as creative (is there some kind of plagiarism rule when it comes to prayers?) but I’ve started praying the same thing. I’m praying that our boy is being loved and sung to and that he’s heard about Jesus. And I’m even praying that he’ll know a little English.