Prayer, Plain and Simple

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (Hebrews 12:1)

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Philippians 3:14)


Our daughter ran the Twin Cities Marathon this past weekend. It was her first, and what a joyful experience it was to watch her! We picked her up at her house at 6:30 in the morning, took her to the start of the race, went and grabbed breakfast and headed to mile 6 to cheer and shout and jump up and down, along with thousands of others in the “huge crowd of witnesses.” We proceeded to 5 other spots along the course of the run, then sprinted to the finish line (literally having to run over a mile because parking was so congested). We got there completely out of breath, and both our phones were dead from tracking her progress all along the way, taking pictures and videos, sending them to friends, and keeping our GPS going to know the best way to get to the next destination.

So once we reached the finish line, we had no way of knowing where she was or how in the world we would find her in the mob of people around us. What do you do when you’re stuck? Pray. We did, and right before our eyes, our daughter’s dear friend appeared, took us directly to our daughter, where we all had a good cry, and all was well.

This race reminded me so much of life, which must be why Paul uses the same analogy in his writing. One of the greatest take-aways from the exhilarating day was simply this: it is pure joy to cheer others on. As we were waiting for our daughter to come by on her run, we rooted and shouted for everyone else in the race. We could see how our smiles, our shouts of encouragement, and our joy for their progress actually gave them strength and energy to keep one foot in front of the other.

Let’s pray to do this everyday: to be people who, here on earth, join the greater crowd in heaven and encourage and empower the people we do life with, that they would succeed and arrive at their destinations, that they would feel valued, and that our friendship would propel them forward in their destinies. Pray this plain and simple prayer to that end…


You know what it feels like to be tripped-up by people, criticized, and betrayed. Like You, I’ve felt the pain of bitter words of discouragement and hate. People like this don’t help me along in my destiny and calling, rather, they make me want to quit. That’s not the person I want to be.

Please forgive me for times I have not been encouraging to others, for times I have failed in relationships. Heal those I have hurt along the way. In the same way, I forgive everyone who has caused me to doubt my ability to run my race, everyone who has impeded my course, and each person who has wished for my failure. I release all bitterness and pain to You, my beloved Redeemer.

Lord, make me like You and the heavenly cloud of witnesses, cheering on the people in my life, encouraging them and affirming their progress. May my words and my love spur them on to success, empowering them to be and to do all You have in mind.

In Jesus’ Name



Photo credit:

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus