I originally posted this on March 14, 2008. I thought it might be a good idea to repost it since it is still relevant...
As I have mentioned before, one of the greatest comforts for me these past few months has been the opportunity to pray for other people. Over the past 9 weeks, I have literally received hundreds (maybe thousands) of comments and emails asking me to pray for others who are going through difficult times of their own.
It has been an honor and a blessing to pray for each one, and I have tried to personally respond to every email that has been sent and view every blog/website link that I've been pointed to.
Many of those same comments and emails have also asked that I post a link to these other people who need prayer. And, back when I wasn't getting an average of 250 comments and 50 emails a day, I was happy and able to so.
Unfortunately, because of the huge number of these requests, I had to make the decision several (months) ago to not post any of the links because I do not have the time and energy to post them all, and I can't post just a few because that would cause serious problems. The few third-party prayers that I do post now are almost exclusively from and/or about people that I know personally.
I do want you to know that I read every single comment and every single email, and try to respond to every email as best I can. If you send me an email asking for prayer, and I do not respond, it is almost definitely because I do not receive it (and yes, I check my junk folder every day). And, I take the time to pray for every request.
My heart sincerely breaks and grieves with compassion and empathy for every story that I read, whether about an older adult or a young child, and it is very difficult for me to not feel guilty that I cannot post every single link.
I hope and pray that you can understand my situation and decisions about this topic. I have never once deleted a comment that has asked for prayer for another person because I know that many in my family, and many of my readers take a look at most, if not all, of the comments. And, in fact, I continue to encourage all of my readers to post their prayer requests here on my blog so that others can read and join me in prayer.
I believe that prayer is more than just a good vibe or a few kind words that might somehow mystically make a difference in somebody's life. I believe that prayer is the opportunity to talk with the God of the universe as if He were (and I believe that He is) sitting right beside me as a close friend. And, because of that, I believe that God hears and answers each and every prayer of those who know Him.
Sometimes He answers in a way that we want Him to, and other times He does not. But, even when His answer is not what I want or expect, He does answer every time, and it is always the best answer.
So, again, thank you, not only for giving me even more reason to forget about my own difficult situation, but for also giving me even more reason to spend time talking with the One who has made me and sustains me.
(Please, know that I am not posting this because of any one person's request for prayer.)