I have several people I pray for on a regular basis. They have chronic health conditions or very serious life events that are going on. These are people who do not pray. Either they were raised Christian and felt betrayed by their church, or they were never part of any faith tradition.
Either way, I pray. I pray for their healing, for their wholeness. I never pray that they get converted, because there are so many people in the Christian community who that is all they pray for. There’s something about this kind of prayer that creeps me out. There are way too many things that the Christian community does that creep me out, in fact, but I’ve already written about that.
While I don’t feel they should convert to Christianity, I do wish that they would get a hint of the power of praying to God. I wish that they would feel the comfort from knowing that God is real, that God loves them, and that they are important. I wish that they would know that the Creator made them for a reason. I wish that they would know the feeling that comes from knowing that they aren’t alone, that there is a plan, and that they are part of it.
There is something about prayer that transforms a situation from feeing hopeless to something hopeful. It is the ultimate “phone a friend.” You can stop right where you are and always pray.
It might feel like there is a busy signal. It might feel like the connection is scratchy. Be assured, God is on the other end, right there, as close as your heartbeat, as close as your breath. Be assured that God is overjoyed that you called. I’m reminded of the story of the Prodigal Son. The father saw his son returning to him from far away. The moment he saw him return, he went running to meet him. God is the same way. God doesn’t meet us half way. God makes up the difference in distance the moment we turn our hearts and minds back.
In fact, God never leaves. God is always with us. God never gives up on us.
I don’t want people to become Christian, necessarily. But I would like them to seek God, or Allah, or Jehovah, or YHWH, or whatever they call the Creator. I think there is a lot of power in this. I think there is a lot of comfort too. Why try to do it all yourself when there is something so much bigger that is calling you daily, moment by moment, to let you know that you are loved?