My friend, Linda who resides HERE in the blogging world made a comment on yesterday's blog which created a need in me to circle back around to the topic of gossip one more time. This time---gossip under the guise of asking for prayer. We have ALL been in those meetings--when prayer concerns were called for and the long litany began of:
1. Who we should pray for
2. Why they need prayer
3. With complete details
NOW --there is not one thing wrong with asking for prayer--for you and yours.
BUT--when the request is for my second cousin's adopted daughter's biological mother's step child who has lapsed into the depths of drug induced despair which have caused her to rob, cheat and steal from all those near and dear and even commit other unmentionable acts-
We all have a need to share the latest news and need everyone to know we are on the cutting edge of being in the know. I AM GUILTY Shame on me for using the need for prayer as my excuse to share the latest news-heartbreak-tragedy or any other pitfall of the human condition to prove my Christian Concern.
In the most successful Small Group, I have ever had the privilege of being a part of, we agreed to ask for prayer for ourselves and those closely connected to us-only---and NEVER ask for prayer for anyone or thing which we were not already praying for ourselves.
How easy it is to throw those words around, "I am praying for you." It dawned on me in the last few years the consequences of saying those words and then not following through. I cringe writing this and remembering those times I promised to pray and somehow forgot before I got back to my car. God, forgive me when I have failed to bring before your throne, what I said I would.
Prayer is important---too important to become a tool of gossip. Have a burning need on your heart--treat it the same as the guidelines for gossip-repeat only the fact without addition. God knows all the details--He is a God of details and He has no need for us to repeat back to Him what He already knows and understands far better than us. Many times, I go to God with these simple words, "God I bring John Doe before your throne--with no knowledge of how to pray for them--but with the full knowledge you are fully aware of them and their needs. I pray for them, Lord."
Pray for me--that I might pray with purity of purpose and all for His good glory.
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,