May I Pray for You?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. -- Philippians 4:6

I walked into the office. The secretary seemed physically struggling with her breathing and her countenance was different than normal.

"Are you okay?" I asked.

"Allergies," she replied. "Sometimes it gets so bad I can hardly breathe."

"May I pray for you?" I asked.

"Oh, I don't want to take up His time with something as menial as me. I'd rather not waste it on me. You should pray for someone much less fortunate than me. My mother always taught us to pray at the dinner table for those less fortunate than us," she replied. The woman was touched that I would offer to pray for her.

The next day I told her my prayer group was praying for her. She could not believe that I would do such a thing for her.

It is interesting what happens when you offer to pray for someone. Offering to pray for someone can be the most genuine and loving thing you can do for another person. It can be the one means of getting a conversation on a spiritual plane that cuts across religious stigmas and gets to the root of the problem - the person's real need. It immediately reveals your own values and sets the stage for future encounters. All it takes is a little holy boldness to step through the door when the opportunity seems to present itself.

Is there anything too small to pray about? Do we, in fact, bother God when we make any request that is not dealing with only the poor in Calcutta? Paul clearly tells us in this passage that prayer is talking with God. It is having such a relationship with Him that we can bring anything to His attention.

We've all heard the housewife's prayer for a parking spot or other such seemingly trivial prayer requests, but is this trivial to God? If God is our closest and most intimate friend, then it becomes very natural to talk to Him as you would a friend who might be sitting next to you in the car. Yes, God desires to have such close communion with you and me that we can pray about anything-even a parking spot.

As you enter the marketplace today, ask a coworker if you can pray for him about something. You may be surprised at what doors will open as a result.

Excerpted with permission from the book TGIF Today God Is First, by Os Hillman, copyright 2000, Destiny Image Publishers, Reprinted by permission. For free daily email subscription to TGIF Today God Is First marketplace meditations, visit (Os Hillman)

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