Have you ever said, ‘I’ll prayer for you’ or ‘you’re in my thoughts and prayers’? Today this phrase has come under attack in the news, on social media and even with the younger generations. The attack isn’t that the phrase is inherently evil or bad but rather it’s seen as a cop out by many for a lack of action to change or deal with the problems in our world today. Yet we know that prayer changes hearts, thoughts and even bringing good out of troubling situations so I thought I would spend a little time in this week’s blog talking about how we can bring back meaning to the phrase ‘I’ll be praying for you’.
First thing first, it goes without saying (or maybe it needs to be said), but if you say you are going to pray for someone, do it. One of the best ways of going about this is by praying for them right then and there when you are talking to them. Another helpful way is by writing it down and placing it somewhere you see it on a daily basis (you can keep a journal, place the name and need in the place you do your daily devotions). You can also put it in as a reminder on your phone to pray each day for the person. Whatever helps you to remember to pray, do it because as Jesus said, ‘let your yes be yes and your no be no’. Our word as Christians are important to keep.
Second thing, pray for God’s will in the situation. This is a little harder because you may not be aware at first of what God’s will may be for the one, you’re praying. Yes, they may have shared what they would like the outcome to be and the need they shared, but it may not be the will God has for that situation. So, if it seems the prayer isn’t being answered as you have been praying, start praying for God to show you how He wants you to pray. Pray the Holy Spirit will help you understand what is going on in that individual’s life and what they truly need. As God speaks, pray as He shows you.
Third, follow up with the one you are praying for if possible. Keeping informed is important so that as the situation changes you can change your prayers. This also let’s the one you are praying for know you are praying and that you do care. The knowledge that your prayers are being lifted up can be an uplifting thought for the one who is being prayed for. By talking with the individual from time to time you can know when God has answered the prayer and you can celebrate with the one whose prayer has been fulfilled.
Finally, when the situation calls for you to act, take action. God uses us all to be His agents of grace in the world around us. There are situations that He brings before us so that we can be His hands and feet. As we pray for someone, ask and listen to God to see if He might want us to be an active role in helping those we are praying for. God will always equip us with what we need when He calls us to action. Keep praying but when God says move, get moving.
Prayer is important. For us prayer is our first and most powerful way we can help others (not our last resort). As we pray let God lead us in our words and actions in how we may be able to help. Pray constantly and from the heart. If we do this, then our ‘I’ll pray for you’ will mean more than anything else to those God puts in our lives to reach.