(this is a start to a series! I think as Christians, we sometimes say particular phrases thinking that it sounds super “Christian”, but it ends up being heartless through our abuse of words. I’m not sure what I’ll call the series permanently, but look out for more posts!)
I think we can all relate to the following situation: Someone who isn’t necessarily close to us comes to us with a concern, and pours out their heart to us. They kind of smack us in the face with this situation, and whether we really care or not, our response is, “I’ll pray for you.”
But do we? Or do we “forget” about it?
How many times have you told someone you would pray for them, but you “forget”? How many times has it probably been important for you to pray for them? And since when has “I’ll pray for you” become a substitute for “Convo over, get out of my face”?
I am guilty of this. Verrrrry guilty. I’m trying to make a practice out of, if someone genuinely needs prayer, to stop whatever I’m doing and pray for them. Even if they “pop” me on Facebook chat or send me a text message and pour their concerns to me, I can type a simple prayer to comfort them. Prayer is powerful, and it connects the body together and does some fantastic things. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just stopped and prayed “anyway”, even though I didn’t really “care” for the situation; then after praying for them my heart breaks for them. I feel like if we truly mean it when we say to our brothers and sisters, “I’ll pray for you,” the body of Christ will strengthen. We will begin to understand each other’s concerns more, as well as creating an atmosphere of comfort.
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:19
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2