"I'm praying for you."
"We're keeping you in our prayers."
"I said a little prayer for you today."
These are all statements that make me smile...and cringe...all at the same time. Yes. I just said it. Sometimes, having someone say, "I'm praying for you" makes me cringe, because it often means nothing more than a greeting. Like "see ya later" or "catch up with ya soon".
Now, before I go any further, please note...I know that there are some serious prayer warriors out there, and I am personally indebted to each of you that has lifted my name to the throne of God on countless occasions. You have no idea what your prayer love does for my grieving spirit.
But...I am also not that naive to think that everybody that tells me they're praying for me is actually doing it. You know why? Because I used to be that person. How 'bout that for a little guilt-laced transparency?
"Back in the day", it was a simple Christian-ese expression of mine to offer to pray for someone, or to say that I was when someone offered up their heartfelt needs for prayer. It's not that I didn't care. I truly did. And...my intentions to pray were always there. But, I would far too often (not always) forget to follow through on my intentions as I fell back in line with my own selfish desires. That's painful to admit, but true.
However, that was over 8 years ago. And, since that time...you can bet your last dollar that if I tell you I'm praying for you...I'm doing it. Often - I do it right after I'm asked (if I can). It's that important to me. I know how desperately I need the prayers of faithful people carrying me through, so I sure as well intend to be just as faithful when I pray.
People are not only counting on us to do what we say we're doing, often they are begging us too. What if you were the one that had...
a child dying of cancer...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
a spouse that just left you...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
no job and no immediate prospects...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
a family member claiming atheism...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
a marriage on the brink of disaster...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
a home that just burned down with all of your earthly possessions...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
a spouse that just committed suicide...wouldn't you be begging for prayer?
I shudder to think that it takes these kinds of disasters to wake us up out of the complacent places of prayer that so many of us currently live. So, today, I beg you...
Don't tell someone you're praying for them unless you really mean it. Your prayer just might be the only one offered up on their behalf that day, and it might be just the thing that makes their heart sing.
And, please...please...please if this is an area of struggle for you, ask God to show you a glimpse of His hurting children through His eyes. Just a glimpse. I guarantee...you'll fall to your knees. I pray you don't have to experience the same type of suffering to truly understand the desperate cries for prayer and the expectation that people are taking seriously your offer of prayer on their behalf.
It's not just a salutation or a "see ya later"...to many, it's their last hope. Think about that...your prayer...might be their last hope. You never know the power in that simple act of obedience.
I love you, and I DO pray for my blog friends! :-) Be blessed!