I have a simple way of praying when I feel overwhelmed by the amount of people I have a heart for, and find that I am “going under” trying to pray for so many different needs. It is this. I write all their names on a sheet of paper and for each one I pray one word, like “protection”, “freedom”, “finances”, “security”, “breakthrough” etc…. Sometimes by reducing my prayer into just one word it distils everything into one place, rather like hitting the centre of a dartboard. Here I discover what is needed!
As Christians, we live in family communities, fellowships of brotherhood and sisterhood. This is an amazing thing! And such a blessing to be part of. In all of this I have found that I am continually investing in new relationships, yet also retaining the friendships I have already made in church life. Sometimes these old friends have moved abroad, or life has pulled them away from church, or they have felt called to a different place or ministry. So I find myself accumulating more and more people! More people I have a heart for but no more time! I have not found an easy way around this dilemma. The only way I find though it is to allow God’s grace to surround me. In this place I remember that I am simply called to walk forwards in life and follow Christ (Matthew 11:28). So some very dear encounters with others will be just that and fall away, and others will involve years of investment. And the only way I can figure this all out is to be led by the Spirit of love, not driven by “shoulds” or “coulds”. I am also finding that I need to extend this same grace and flexibility with my fellow travellers, for at times they too may need to let go of my friendship in order to embrace new horizons.