When was the last time you were intentional about something? Maybe as recently as this morning when you chose what you would wear. On the other hand, maybe you are not the type that puts a lot of thought into clothes or breakfast, so maybe it has been awhile since you took the time to think about your daily decisions enough to be intentional about them. Let’s turn this question just a bit and ask it a little differently. When was the last time you were intentional about something you were putting off, or something you forgot about, or something you flat out didn’t want to do?
I find in my own life that there are things I want to do and don’t make time for, and there are other things I flat out don’t want to do, and it takes some intentionality to make them happen. For some people, engaging faith and prayer are like that. Either it is something they have been meaning to do and just haven’t gotten around to it, or they just do NOT want to do it, so they avoid it as much as possible. Let me be clear, I am not putting all “un-churched” or “de-churched” people into this category. There are some people who have thought long and hard about faith in God and have decided they don’t believe, or they are intentionally not sure, and that is enough for them. I’m not talking about atheists or agnostics, and I am not talking about those who talk to God regularly but by another name. I am talking about the people in our churches and out in the world who are wondering what it is that is missing from their lives. I am talking about the people who have become so swamped by the stress of their jobs and their families that there is no room for church or even prayer. I am talking about those people who are drowning and don’t know why or how they got there and have no idea how they are going to get out. As a person of faith, what would you say to someone who is searching, gasping for God’s breath?
Let me share what I did for one young woman who trusted me with her fear and her anxiety this summer. Because at the beginning of the summer I was prayed for by someone who was not only intentional in her prayer for me but she was certain in her belief that God would use her prayer and the Holy Spirit to answer her prayer, I had the confidence in my belief to pray for a young woman struggling. I asked her if I could pray for her. I asked her to be specific with me about what she wanted me to pray. Then I was confident in my belief and in the power of the name Jesus. Finally I was intentional in praying for her and for what she needed. God has already removed obstacles in her life. And I pray more that God will continue to remove fear and anxiety from this young woman.
God uses our prayers when we pray them. And through our praying we are changed and the one prayed for and about is changed. Again, let me be clear. I am not suggesting we will get whatever we pray for every time we pray. God does not promise prosperity despite what a certain smiley preacher might suggest. God does promise enough of what we need. When was the last time you were intentional in your prayers? When was the last time you asked someone to pray for you? When was the last time you were intentional in sharing your faith?
When you are intentional, God is able to move more smoothly. Today…choose to be intentional.