Pathways through Lent

Images, Prayer, and Friendship

by Marilyn Jenkins

The Fourth Monday of Lent

[Martin Luther King, Jr., Civil Rights Leader, 1968]

Jeremiah 16:10-21 Psalm 89 Romans 7:1-12 John 6:1-15

Images are important for me to provide some sort of context to what I am thinking. Until I have actually seen something, I am not able to fully grasp what it is in my imagination. An image provides familiarity.

The same holds true for me in prayer. When I am holding someone in my prayers, their image fills my mind; when we pray for other nations during the Prayers to the People if I have been to one of the countries, I will have an image in my head.

One of the images that fill my mind when we pray for Afghanistan is that of COL Najamutullah of the Afghan Army. I had an opportunity to work directly with him when he was the commander of the Afghan National Military Command Center in my last month of deployment. We became friends through our work.

We said our goodbyes the day I let him know that my work with him was coming to an end. In our last handshake, he asked me to pray for them when I was in my church in the United States. I told him that I would and that my church held them in our prayers.

When I hear or read the Prayers of the People, I pause slightly to let an image fill my mind. Most often it is the image of Col Najamutullah, asking me to pray for them when I am at my church.




1 thought on “Images, Prayer, and Friendship”

  1. That’s why I find it helpful when the Prayers of the People are read slowly and thoughtfully, and aren’t rushed. Thanks, Marilyn, for sharing that story and image of Col Najamutullah.

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