Don’t say “I’ll pray for you”
More specifically, don’t just say “I’ll pray for you.” I think the phrase easily falls out of your mouth, but sometimes the follow-through fails. Can you relate? I remember being in a conference a long time ago where the speaker was talking about this topic. He posed the rhetorical question: “Why don’t you pray for the person then and there…rather than telling them you’ll pray for them later?” It really made me think. In most situations when we find out someone needs prayer, we usually can pray for them then and there. I can remember soon after the conference a friend was telling me about the difficult time she was having. Her baby was unwell, her husband was needing to work long hours and she was exhausted…. I was about to tell her I’d pray for her but the prompt came quickly to pray for her then and there. So, I did. Yes, it was a little awkward. We were in the baby section of a busy Big W store! But I prayed a sincere prayer for her and was so happy I did. Rather than walking away and potentially forgetting.
Praying for others is a good and biblical thing to do. The Scriptures tell us to pray for all people (1 Timothy 2:1). Ephesians 6:18 says that we’re to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters. In praying for others, we take the focus off ourselves and onto the needs around us.
My final encouragement on praying for others is to, when possible, play a role in being an answer to the prayer. How? If your prayer is for a busy and tired Mum then perhaps make her a meal. If you’re praying for a friend who has lost a loved one then invite them for dinner and spend time with them. If you’re praying for someone undergoing medical treatment, send them an encouraging card or email to remind them you are praying for them. Of course, there will be many prayers where we can’t physically do anything, but remain fervent in prayer. In those instances, I like to set alarms or reminders in my diary to pray at specific times. At Oasis we prioritise life together and truly believe that it’s a blessing and a great joy to be an active part of God’s family, the church.
‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.’ Ephesians 6:18