Monday, March 12, 2012

Grace in Unknown Callers

Anyone else a little annoyed with the phone lately? Like every other phone in America, mine has been ringing off the hook (I realize that terminology is obsolete now, but you know what I mean). Election call after election call and telemarketer after telemarketer come in about 10 times a day. They all desperately need to talk to us. Even though we're on the "do not call" list,  it doesn't seem to matter. People are still calling. For the most part, I don't even answer. I figure, if it's important enough they will leave a message and I'll return the call...sometime. A few weeks ago I received an out of state call from a number I'd never seen before, but decided to pick it up anyway.

A sweet voice on the other end of the line greeted me. She told me that she was calling from a free prayer service I signed up for and that every registrant got a prayer call, more if they wanted. I feel like I knew they'd be calling at some point, but I put it in the back of my mind with other things like junk mail to sort and mattresses to turn.

I didn't know a thing about this lady, but we began talking about the weather in each of our respective states and all of the sudden we were off in conversation like old friends. Though I knew nothing about her, I had absolutely no trouble talking with her. She was asking me about the time I'd been spending in the Word and about any prayer requests I had at that moment. I gave her a few and she prayed a lengthy prayer aloud for me over the phone in response to the requests on my heart. I thanked her with a sincere heart, full of gratitude; we said our good-byes and hung up. I knew I'd probably never speak with the Unknown Caller again, but her thoughtful prayer over my life touched me in a way I never would have guessed when I saw that funny number on the Caller ID.

In addition to hearing grace through the phone while feeling it with my heart, I realized how important it is to cover friends, family, and often those "unknowns" with prayer whenever we can. We shouldn't realize their burdens "sometime" (e.g., whenever we get to it, have time, feel like it...etc) as we do with messages from unknown callers. We should observe everything around us - from the mundane to the incredibly shocking and "pray without ceasing" as instructed in I Thessalonians 5:17.

We may go through our list of prayer requests every day and feel like we're doing our earthly best, but have you considered going further than that?  Have you ever thought about praying for someone that's pulled over on the side of the road? It's easy to say, "...stinks for that person...maybe I should stop?" as you continue to drive by; as you know, praying for them takes work - much like all sincere prayer does. One of my sisters-in-christ taught me that. What if you pray every time you hear a siren? Pray when you read the news; pray for the kids in the store who are disobeying their parents; pray for those who are wicked and have the hardest of hearts; those who have seemingly put themselves on the "do not pray for me," "do not talk to me about Jesus," "do not invite me to church....again" lists; for those who cause you anger; and, for those who seem not to need prayer because they have it so "together," because we know there's not a soul on Earth that has it together enough not to need grace. We may even see a hurting person, ask if they need prayer, and get silence or disconnect...much like the way we may respond to the 15th credit card offer of the day from some unknown telemarketer. Pray anyway. If you can't find the words to pray, maybe it's praise that's needed instead? Psalm 95:2 says, Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

There's no limit to your prayer or praise, not on time nor circumstance. Just open your heart as much as you can - and then further than that. Pray from wherever you are because the Lord's ears are always in tune. You never know how responding to an unknown call may answer one of your own.

Grace Laced Mondays
How can I pray for you today?

This post is linked up to Grace Laced Mondays and Better Mom Mondays.

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  1. I love your take on praying without ceasing! Many of these examples sadly don't cross my mind when I read this verse. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Thats awesome Tess. The ways that God humbles us is really amazing sometimes.

  3. Thanks so much for linking up! I'm so glad you joined our community. Prayer is so easy to talk about, and so difficult to really do. I pray I will look for opportunities to pray...and really follow through.

  4. It's something I'm slowly improving at. A wise lady once told me that if a name pops into my head, to pray for them. How cool is the idea of a free prayer service! I prayed that you will see more opportunity to pray as you learn.


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