Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Action Word

There is a couple from my church that I have come to know over the last year or so. In this time we have had several dinners together. I have been over to their house a couple of times and they have been over to my house a couple of times. However, I am certainly not part of their inner circle. Our relationship has not reached a level that they would even think to contact me if they were met with some major trouble in their lives. So while I am not simply another frequency in the background noise of their lives, neither am I included on their phone's speed dial.

Recently I had these folks over to my house and they shared with me the news that they were expecting their first child. The next day I sent them am email to let them know that if there was anything that I could do during the next six months or so before their little one's arrival, to let me know. I think that normally this is where such exchanges end. Such offerings are typically tossed out and accepted at the level of a "congratulations" or a "I'm happy for you". Simple pleasantries and platitudes. Even though my offer to help was genuine, because of the level of our relationship, I expected that it would be received and disappear quickly into the aether.

However, I was quickly taken up on my offer in a most unexpected way. I was asked specifically to pray for them at their upcoming doctor's appointments. While some may regard this request as trivial or unimportant, it did not strike me that way at all. When I ask someone to pray for me, I do not make such requests lightly. In fact, such requests find me at my most vulnerable. Prayer requests are not simply to be received passively. Prayer is an action word and can often be one of the most important things that we can do for another.