13 Mar 2022 REFLECTION 3: Faithful In Prayer
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Whenever someone becomes a sponsor through Lahash, they receive some suggestions for ways to connect with this precious child. Rice & Beans Month is definitely recommended! Some letter-writing tips are included, too. But we have seen through the years that the simplest and most profound way for a sponsor and child to connect is through prayer.
For the kids in East Africa, prayer is a way to express the deep gratitude and care they feel for their sponsors. It is an action they can take to grow in their own faith and benefit someone they love. For the sponsors, prayer keeps them mindful of their sponsored child’s needs and of God’s heart for their life and future. God forms and strengthens life-giving bonds between sponsor and child through the mystery of prayer. Even without texting or phone calls, and most often without ever meeting in person, being faithful in prayer leads to deep investment in each other’s lives.
Although we don’t fully understand prayer, people who have followed in the ways of Jesus for any length of time can likely describe some examples of what faithful prayer has looked like along the journey. As you ponder this phrase throughout the week, take some time to reflect on the examples that come to mind. Ask God to reveal more to you about what it means to be faithful in prayer.
As for the preceding verse, “zeal” and “spiritual fervor” are not words we commonly use. “Serving the Lord” is much more familiar. Taken together, the image is of people who are spiritually alive and awake as they serve the Lord. The three brief descriptions that follow – be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer – are part of the big vision in this passage for being “devoted to one another in love” (verse 10). Doing so will draw us into deeper unity with God and others as we navigate life’s challenges and joys.
Questions: Do you know of anyone who has faithfully prayed for you, and if so, how has it impacted you? What are some of the joys and challenges of being faithful in prayer?
Prayer: God who hears us, thank you for inviting us into the mystery of prayer. Even with our limited understanding, we know that it draws us closer to others and helps us to experience You. As we connect with our brothers and sisters in East Africa through tangible meals of rice and beans, help us also to connect through intangible bonds formed by heartfelt prayer. Amen.
Here are a few more scriptures for further meditation on our theme for this week:
I Thessalonians 5:12-18