I held the phone to my ear as she spoke. It was as close as I could get being hundreds of miles away. How desperately I wanted to hold her hand and give her the assurance she needed as she began this new adventure. Actually, I wanted to do something else…
“Ask her,” my heart nudged like a child pulling on the hem of my skirt.
“I shouldn’t have to ask.” I argued with myself. “I should know this.”
In our 40 years of being sisters, I had never asked. We grew up together. We were best friends. We told each other everything, but I had never asked THIS. She continued to talk, unaware of the argument I was having with myself.
“Nichole,” I interrupted. “Would you feel comfortable if I prayed for you? Over the phone? Right now?”
“OF COURSE!” she responded. “I pray with people all the time. I’d love it if you prayed for me.”
And so, I began to pray, feeling the Holy Spirit move between our two phones. I prayed for wisdom and courage, for clarity and God’s will. I prayed over my dear sister, trying desperately to say all the things a big sister should. We were both crying by the time I was done.
In 40 years, I had never prayed over my sister.
I had prayed for her. But, we had never prayed together and I cried for the loss of time and for the hope of prayers to come. Sometimes, the people we have the hardest time being vulnerable with are those we are closest to. Our spiritual paths had diverged twenty-five years earlier. My sister remained Catholic while I left to attend non-denominational Christian churches. I didn’t know if she prayed out loud with people. Why hadn’t I asked?
My heart overflowed with joy and sorrow and connectedness and longing that afternoon.
My encouragement to you today: Ask the question that tugs at your heart. Speak the things that are gnawing at your soul. Break down the barriers of fear and open yourself to true vulnerability. I assure you, it is almost always a prompting of the Holy Spirit.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19