Have you ever seen a pile of trash and thought, "I should pray!"? You probably haven't, and I didn't either until God reminded me of something. Every week it is our family's job to clean our auditorium and get it prepared for church the following day. We walk around between all of the pews and pick up all of the pieces of trash that have been left from the previous service. They are not big, but at the end of cleaning, my hand has a little pile of trash in it. To some this may seem like a menial task, but to me I use it as an opportunity to pray.
1. I pray for the people
I have to go through every pew looking and touching every one of the pews in order to find the trash. I use this time to pray for the church members and visitors that will be sitting in them the following day. Many people I know sit in the same spot every week. When I come to their seat, I pray for their family specifically by name. When I come to seats that have been empty for a few weeks, I pray that God will fill them with new people or families.
2. I pray for their problems
The trash that I pick up reminds me that the people that left it there have problems in their lives. Just like the little pieces of grass, hair, and papers that I pick up, many people have problems, and they need help picking up the pieces of their life. I pray that God will help them with the difficulties that they are facing on a daily basis that others may not even know about. I pray that they will seek Him for help with their burdens. I also ask God to give them courage to seek help from a spiritual leader.
3. I pray for sinners
As I pick up the dirt and trash, I remember that I am nothing but a dirty, rotten sinner that is saved by grace. Because of this, I pray for Christ to forgive me of my daily sins. I pray for lost sinners that will be in church tomorrow and the lost in our area. I pray that the lost will be convicted of their sins and receive Christ as Savior.
4. I pray for the sick
The Bible says that one day we will return to the dust of the ground. As I vacuum our auditorium, I see all the dust and dirt that is picked up by it. I think about those that have illness or infirmities and the fact that they may die, and pray that God will heal them if that is His will. This also reminds me that my time is short so I should do everything I can to tell others about God.