"…but God, being rich in mercy…" (Ephesians 2:4).
Not long ago, I was looking through my library and noticed a book I had read several years ago. It was a compilation of the best writings of Catherine Marshall. I decided to re-read some of them and God used one of the articles to teach me about "mercy" prayers.
Often we forget that God's love is unlimited. When we notice weaknesses in the lives of the people we live or work with, we can become impatient. We wonder why they don't apply the Biblical truths that would surely help them live more consistently. We pray for them (maybe) but seldom do we remember God's mercy and grace.
After reading Catherine Marshall's book, I began to pray "mercy" prayers. Just a simple prayer like, "Lord, have mercy on ________." Many times we don't even know how to pray, we just know something is not right. But God, who knows all things, knows exactly what the situation is. When we pray, "Lord have mercy," He will intervene and answer our prayer in the best possible way.
For years I prayed for two wonderful, little girls who were not being raised in the ways of the Lord. Many nights, I would pray, "Lord have mercy on those two little girls, they didn't ask to be brought into the world."
One week, things began to change - God had mercy on them. Today, through amazing circumstances, their mother is following Jesus, they are living in a stable environment and the girls are lavished with love. God cares and loves more than I could possibly imagine. And the girls love Jesus.
I encourage you to begin praying "mercy" prayers when you notice problems in people's lives - it so much better than being judgmental or critical.
Lord Jesus, You are loving and Your mercy endures forever. Even though our own love is often so shallow, when we intercede for Your mercy on the lives you bring across our path, You will answer. Thank You so much! Amen.