“I’m Praying for you” – Have you ever told someone something bad that was happening in your life or in your friends’ life, or about a choice, an opportunity, something that you would really appreciate their prayers for and they respond “I’ll be praying for you?” I know that I have done this and have had this done to me before. We throw this term around so much and we think that by commenting with it, that it will make someone feel better. While this may be the case, if we as christians don’t actually pray for them, then we aren’t being truthful with our comment and we aren’t believing God to be in the situation.
I recently had this realization brought to me by a friend. Her mother is going through a lot and has recently been diagnosed with lymphoma. I told her that I would be praying for her and then I asked for her mother’s name. To me, it was a no brainer… I wanted to be able to pray for my friend, but I also wanted to be more specific with my prayer and really lift her mother up using her name. I didn’t think much about the conversation, but about 15 min later as I was picking up items at the grocery store, I got a text from my friend. She had taken her mom to the doctors and was waiting for her in the waiting room and she text me this “ I was just sitting here realizing that of all the times I’ve heard someone say ‘I’ll pray’, you’re the only one who has asked for a name. I always feel like people just say that because its expected. But you asking my moms name made me feel that you will truly do it. “
Wow, when she responded with that, I was taken back and really thought about the statement and how she was so right… it is usually said because it is expected. Then she added “ i”m grateful for you. I’m not very religious, but I do believe in God. I’m glad he has put people like you in my life to take up the slack.” I was honored when she said all of those things and then I thought “What if we made it a point to truly pray for people and ask more specifics. to allow people to see how important we think they are and to be a better witness?” What if something so simple could help us draw others to Christ?
Prayer moves mountains. Us, as christians believing that God will hear our requests and will do something is so incredibly important. It means that we truly believe that God can hear our requests and that he cares for us… that he wants to help us… that he loves us.
Phillipians 4:6 says “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. “
When we take these verses and actually apply them in real life, we are leaning on God for his help ( His power is made perfect in our weakness- 2 Corinthians 12:9) and we are believing that He will work in the situation being prayed over. God desires to hear from you… He desires to hear your requests and prayers. So, how can we do better as christians about praying in general and praying for others?
3 things you can do with regards to prayer and praying for others:
1. Ask Specifics about the situation needing prayer or the person.
By asking for specifics you can pray for the situation and/ or person better and the person who asked for prayer will feel that you are really going to pray for them and their situation. How cool would it be if something so simple could bring others to know God?
2. Pray for the situation or person immediately after you find out about the situation.
If you pray right away, then you are being honest with your response that you will be praying for the person or situation. And if you forget to lift the situation or person up in prayer again, at least you already prayed. But if you don’t want to be the person who forgets to lift others up in prayer… start a prayer journal. With a prayer journal you can write down all the requests you have said you will pray about and your own prayers and the coolest part of all.. see how God works in those situations and then write about it!
3. When God puts a person on your heart to pray for, do it right away!
You never know what’s going on in someone else’s lives and by lifting them up, you are partnering with them and speaking on their behalf. You can never have enough prayer! Or you could get to know that same person and think they are awesome and befriend them. One can never have enough friends, either!
Romans 8:26 “ In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
It means so much to me when others say they are praying for me and then instead of just saying that, they keep up with the situation and ask how things are going. Let’s not just be the person or the christians that say “I’ll be praying for you,” let’s really do it!