Has "I'll pray for you" become the Christian "Have a nice day"?
I run into people all day long that could use a prayer. There's sickness, confusion, defeat, anger, hurt, any and all things that come from living in a broken world. So, I say to them, "I'll pray for ya". That's cool, that's fine, but do I really do it? Do I actually remember that person when my daily "designated prayer time" (OK, more like my "if-I-find-the-time-and-can-stay-awake-long enough" prayer time) rolls around? I can admit that many times the answer is "no". Too many other things have transpired throughout the day and I forget I told someone this morning I would pray for them. Besides, I got my own stuff I need to pray about, right?
Well, here's an idea. What if, right at the moment we are with that other person who's dealing with whatever it is, we prayed for them right then and there?! Not later, not when we (hopefully) remember, but right now. In the moment, in real time while this person is in front of us. All right, now, Abby. Hang on a minute. That's getting a little too intense, maybe even a little creepy. So, I'm supposed to just start praying, right there in front of God and everybody?!
Yep. Right there in front of God and everybody. But, here's some helpful news. The prayer doesn't have to be lengthy, nor do we have to use a bunch of fancy words. Oh, and we don't have to shout, either -- unless you just particularly want to, but this will probably really freak the other person out. Just say something like "Lord, I'm lifting "so and so" up to you right now. You know what she's (he's) going through and we are trusting you and thanking you in advance for what you're going to do to help. Amen." (Insert their real name here because "so and so" would just be weird).
Don't you just love checking things off your 'To Do' list?
James 5:16 New International Version (NIV)16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.