Praying is not an easy habit. Sometimes it’s just a list of grievances (I cannot believe this ish happened to me today, Jesus!). Other times, it’s a Christmas layaway plan (I want this, and I want that…but only if it’s in your will, Father God). Occasionally, it is just about God, but usually after we win something, gain something…or almost died (I thank you, Jehovah Jirah, for providing me with LIFE after almost being killed by that drunk driver!). Striking the right balance of thanksgiving, honor, reverence, and requests is downright hard.
When we do pray for others, it tends to be the same folks: mom, dad (if you like them); siblings (if you like them); that new boo you met on Match.com (until you stop liking him); and maybe your significant other or kids….if you like them. And then we pray for people we’d probably never meet (and half of yall probably wouldn’t want to sit with them on your lunch break): Dear God, I pray for all those who have no food to eat. Feed them.
“Liking” or “knowing” people seems to be our pre-requisite for why we would pray for another. 9 times out of 10, that’s not because we are evil; we’re just a little short-sighted at times. So today, before the day gets crazy, just put a little positive energy for these folks:
1) Your Boss
Whether you have a boss you love, or one you love to hate (or one who doesn’t even know your name), this “el jefe” (boss in Spanish, don’t worry…I didn’t call your superior a female cow…oh, and the “j” sounds like an “h”). I digress. This “el jefe” controls A LOT of things that affect you. Your paycheck. Your reputation. Your promotion. And while you may pay for each of those things independently, not committing the person who impacts it may result in inactivity in the areas you want God to move in. Could it be that He wants you to move a little past you immediate needs and expand your prayer request? God knows we need things, but He could care less about objects. He cares more about relationships, because that’s the space where love is revealed. So, today, take a moment to just thank God for your boss, ask that wisdom be placed on their mind and heart, and that God touches them in areas that aren’t visible to you (and may be the explanation why they’re a pain at times). Also ask that more than a promotion, God creates an organic and earnest space for a relationship to develop. I mean, if you gotta see this person everyday, then you should care about their well-being.
On to the next soul.
2) Him Downstairs (or your neighbor)
So I live in New York, so I will be living in an apartment with random folks for a long time. I tend to stay to myself, but as of recently, I’ve developed a great friendship with my neighbor. I was hesitant at first. He was moving in from Williamsburg (a part of Brooklyn where I’d never live in: partially because I can’t afford it, but I tell people it’s because of the annoying hipsters. Both are true I guess. End digression). His mom flew in from Ohio, and kept staring at my braids (He later told me that his mom was like “why does every black woman wear braids? HAHA). And being that my last neighbor was an art student that had parties every night (and music video productions on the weekends), I didn’t know what neighbor I was getting. So I stayed away. And the second day he moved in, I locked myself out of the building walking my dog. It was freezing, so I reluctantly rang his doorbell. “Ify?” he said through the intercom. “Heyyyyyy” I said, because…I forgot his name. “Heyyyyy, I’m locked out, would you mind buzzing me in?” Long story short, he buzzed me in, and since I had to wait for the Super to unlock my actual apartment, Jeremy (I heard his company say his name several times and I caught on) welcomed me and Bishop (my puppy) to come in, hang, and eat dinner. Even after my Super unlocked my door, me and the puppy-son went back for another hour. Now, he’s like a brother—we’ve shared dating stories (we both like men:) , given advice Iyanla would die for, and watched tv shows until we passed out. He is the first neighbor that I’ve really cared about their well-being, and I pray for him on occasion. And Jeremy doesn’t even believe in God…but so what. That is not a requirement for me to speak to my Father, and I still want Jeremy to be blessed in spite of his unbelief.
Look, even if your neighbor is a mean grouch…or a psycho…pray for them anyways. You never know when you’ll need them.
3) The Prince Charming…you never met
If you have a cell phone, then you’re aware of “Friends and Family” plans. Well, let me introduce you to the “Friends that May Be Family” plan. It’s exclusive: every friend should not be a potential family member. But my prayer partner and I frequently pray for our potential life partner—and we purposely call him a “friend” because that is how we envision our husbands. There are so many people that marry their love, but not their friend. So to be proactive, we pray for all of our dating relationships—that at the very least, the exchange is friendly, without strife, and if a good chord is struck, potentially develop into a loving relationship. Long are the days where we pray for a relationship AFTER we get in it; taking a moment to thank God for whoever He intends for us to be with extends friendliness, concern, and love…even before you have met the one. And plus, he probably needs help on his day to day, just like you. So help a brotha out!
Who else should we pray for today?