It has been a precarious week! I was laughing and joking with a coworker less than a week ago, and then learned that her doctor phoned while she was in a meeting demanding her to get to the hospital to follow up on a test administered earlier that morning. I left work to head out of town to minister in dance at an event for a friend who is battling breast cancer. During the service, I sent a text message to check on a spiritual mentor who’d had an outpatient procedure earlier in the day. I learned that she was experiencing complications and was taken back to the hospital. Two days later, my Aunt who is 88 fell down a flight of stairs at church and was taken to the hospital. Each of these aforementioned events required individual and immediate attention. I have a unique relationship with each person, but even on what I may consider one of my best days with my “S” on my chest, I cannot be everywhere at the same time. Due to the seriousness of each situation, I desired to be. For each situation was precarious – dangerously lacking in stability and stability; and subject to chance or unknown conditions (free dictionary). In my weariness to be that sister for every season, I am grateful that God is likened to Visa – He is everywhere I want to be! In an instant, I joined others, some who I knew and more who I didn’t, to intercede and pray for the four…my coworker, my sister in Christ, my spiritual mentor and my Aunt.
As I said, its been a precarious week! The word precarious is not a word that elicits joy. After all, when its used, things are typically in dire conditions. Yet, as my 8th grade English teacher Mrs. Johnson reminded, we must study the root. The fact of the matter is that the word precarious has an additional definition – dependent on the will or favor of another. Further, the word “prayer” comes from the Latin precarius, which means “obtained by begging, to entreat.” I thought this was strange. But is it? Why would the word prayer come from something that is deemed dangerous? I believe that we are often introduced to prayer as a result of what we perceive to be dangerous – and we do entreat God, beg God and expect God to show up! And that is good – but we cannot stop there. There are over 500 verses in the Bible that reference prayer, and yet, if remembered can stabilize us at the root of any situation. Thessalonians 5:7: Pray without ceasing. This doesn’t mean that we are on our knees, or in or prayer closets, or stretched out prostrate for hours on end. Some of us may be at a point in life where we are able to do so (and for that we thank you), but many of us are not, and must pray as we get dressed, drive in our cars, walk into boardrooms, while working out, while sitting at soccer practice, while in the drive through line at the bank (and on and on) do our praying. We must as William Murphy reminds in the song with Tasha Cobbs, “get up and go to work honey!”
I would suggest that its dangerous not to pray. Its dangerous not to hear something tragic on the news and not pause to ask God to comfort a family and bring someone who is missing home. Its dangerous not to thank God for a for a military family reunited when you have the blessing of witnessing their homecoming. Its dangerous not to pray for others who share a hospital room with the loved one you are visiting. But thankfully, our prayer can go beyond what we consider a dangerous situation. In fact, when we pray without ceasing, we can actually avert some dangerous situations from even occurring!
If you’ve ever been around a child who begs (particularly during this holiday season), you know they master the art to no avail. As a child, my options for begging were limited. I asked verbally, and I wrote a note. Now, children can email pictures, create videos, powerpoint presentations, text messages and the like to beg for what they desire. My dog Diamond begs like crazy when there is any food besides dog food being prepared. Occasionally, we ignore begging, but more often than not, we succumb to the pressure, we consider the case and we grant what is desired. Imagine God, taking notice when we are placing our desires before him relentlessly….and not for the fishes and the loaves, but for healing, for deliverance, for breakthrough, for life altering circumstances! Can we entreat him without ceasing? He has the ability and desire to get to the root of the matter so that our precarious situation becomes safe and secure in his hands through prayer! Prayer is the stabilizer of the uncertainty. And you don’t have to worry about him just throwing you a scrap to shut you up!
And, in case you’re wondering. The coworker received a misread, my sister is Christ is healed and is navigating the physical remnants of cancer, my spiritual mentor remains in the hospital and is improving daily and my 88 year old Aunt, well, she has no broken bones and no complications and has resumed her daily routine. No precarious predicaments here….just praise and prayer!