Carrying a Prayer Burden

Have you ever felt like there is something seriously wrong in the world and you just don’t know what you can do about it? You see awful things happening, and they just keep happening. People keep making awful choices. Entire organisations and institutions rally around ideas and actions that are, well, evil.

Might God be giving you a prayer burden?

I feel God might be giving me one of those special gifts today. I say special because it doesn’t feel like a gift at all. But I’m trying to see it that way.

For me today, the burden on my heart is about babies. I just spent the whole evening at the hospital last night meeting with doctors to discuss a potential deformity within my daughter’s little heart. Don’t worry; everything is fine. They sent us home because they are happy with Lucy’s overall health. She will need the further diagnosis so we can help treat the problem. But then I wake up this morning, and my mom tells me (via FaceTime) that people are heavily lobbying our government to make the termination of life in the womb more accessible by allowing midwives to perform abortions.

It makes me think - just two short months ago our little Lucy was in Sara’s womb, and yet the womb can be such a dangerous place.

I feel like there is very little I can do about all this.

Later on, while doing some reading, I came across the word burden. Maybe this is what a prayer burden feels like! Maybe this is what I’m being asked to do. To pray and offer sacrifices. My knee has been bothering me, so I started offering that pain up. I started lifting up prayers for an end to abortion in my homeland, Canada. I prayed for those actively working the Pro-Life movement.

What burden is God placing on your heart?

What makes you angry, sad, restless or uneasy? What reality bugs you that just won’t go away?

Do you think God might be tugging at something?

In Andy Stanley’s book Visioneering, he talks about how disturbed Moses was with the slavery of his people in Egypt. When Moses was a young lad, he got so fired up about this problem that he killed an Egyptian. Did he think killing Egyptians one at a time would end the problem? That would take forever, and he would probably get killed before the problem would get solved. Instead, God drove him out to a faraway land of Sinai where he had to wait, and get trained. He had a burden on his heart. Do you know how long he had to wait before he could finally go back and set his people free?

Forty years.

That must have felt like an eternity! Now, in the big picture, it’s nothing. Three thousand years later we still talk about the amazing liberation of Israel from the Egyptians, which makes forty years sound like nothing. But God placed a huge burden on Moses’ heart and then asked him to wait. And train.

Today, I’ve been given a prayer burden. And I do see it as a gift because that means I get to do something to be a part of the change. Prayer is powerful. God has worked miracles in the past and will continue to work miracles in the future. So next time you witness terrible atrocities happening around you or on the news, ask yourself: Is God giving me a prayer burden?






Cameron Turner is a leader within the youth evangelization movement NET Canada.  He and his wife live in Hammond, ON with their daughter, Lucy.