The siren’s whine cut through the music bounding from my headphones as I walked. “It must be close,” I thought. Glancing at the distant road leading into our neighborhood, red emergency vehicles whizzed past. Nurse brain and adrenaline kicked in as I envisioned how to help until the EMTs arrived. As the sirens faded, I realized my physical help wasn’t needed, but something even more important was.
Someone needed help. Physical help was on its way. And so was my prayer. Right then as I walked, I silently prayed for whatever was needed in this situation. I didn’t know what that was. But God did.
The apostle Paul reminds us about praying for others in 1 Timothy 2:1:
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
While not routine, my emergency prayers occur more often than in the past. Have you ever been prompted by the Holy Spirit do something? A little voice inside telling you to say this or do that. That’s where my emergency prayers stem from—trying to listen more closely to God’s still small voice.
My sudden prayer bursts are not always an emergency, however. Has a friend ever asked you to pray for something? We always reply “of course”, but then sometimes forget as the moment passes. Praying in the moment (maybe even with the person) honors the request and can be even more powerful.
I also pray spontaneously when I want to do something but can’t (or won’t). A few months ago I drove by a homeless person. I’ll admit I was too nervous to stop. But I prayed for him quickly and instinctively. That’s the thing with being still enough to hear His voice. We hear, act or pray and it becomes a habit, an instinct. Each time we listen, we learn to live more in tune with God’s will for us.
I truly believe it’s how we can live out Paul’s encouragement in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to
Never stop praying.
When I first read this, I thought-“yeah sure-only monks in seclusion never stop praying!” Not true-we can too. Our prayers can be an ongoing conversation with God asking for help, guidance, and wisdom. Or they can be emergent bursts of thankfulness, intercession, praise-the list is endless. Wherever, whenever we pray, let’s do it in Jesus’ name and in communion with God’s will, not only for ourselves but also for whom we pray.
“…The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” ~ James 5:16b
Let’s never stop praying, whether it’s an emergency or not.
Linking up with Susan Mead at #DancewithJesus, Crystal Twaddell at #FreshMarketFriday, Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Crystal Storms at #IntentionalTuesday