I don’t want you to tell me you’re going to pray for me.
I don’t want you to just tell me.
What I want is for you to actually pray.
When it comes to prayer, your follow-through is much more important than your good intentions.
There is a disease within the church that manifests itself in good-intentions, presenting in kind words and affirmations but rooted in symptoms like selfishness and broken trust.
We’re quick to promise our prayers to the needy, quick to confirm that we will lift their concerns and hurting souls up to our great and mighty God, but we hide within us the truth—we have no intentions of doing so.
We say we will because it’s the “Christian” thing to do.
“I’m going to pray for you.” “I’ll be praying.” “I’ll add you to my prayer list.” “Praying!” “I’ll take it to the Lord.”
Those are promises. Promises that come with mighty weight.
People depend on those promises of prayer.
Their comfort comes from the thought that their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are going before the God of Healing and Comfort and presenting their requests before the Lord.
Those who need the prayer seek the security of knowing that there is a unified, praying army beseeching the gates of Heaven, presenting requests to God on behalf of those who are weary, weak, and hurting. On behalf of the lost.
But perhaps the army of prayer warriors isn’t as strong as one might think. There’s a chink in the armor—that chink is you.
Perhaps you are too busy. Perhaps you are forgetful. Perhaps you don’t really believe in prayer at all.
You are the one who said you would pray, but you haven’t. You don’t. You only said those words because that’s what one says to someone who is hurting.
After all, what more can you do?
But that’s just it—praying for someone is the most powerful, life-changing, loving thing that you can do.
Praying for someone demonstrates not only your love for that person, but God’s love.
You are a manifestation of Jesus Christ, loving that person through prayer. You are handing their brokenness, their pain, their anxiety and weakness to the Healer, the Provider, the Creator of all things.
So don’t let them down.
Praying for someone requires no fancy words or mammoth time commitment. What it requires is a loving heart of truth, the follow-through of loving someone in Christ beyond the capacity of your forgetful mind and your busy schedule.
It requires devotion to a Christ-like walk that loves by following through.
So don’t just tell me you are going to pray for me.
5 responses to “Please Don’t Tell Me You’ll Pray for Me”
I’m wrapping up a deadline.
I’m traveling this week–leaving Thursday and will be gone a week.
I’m dealing with some chronic pain issues that flare up when I travel.
And you know: life goes on even when Mom’s not at home.
So, Jenny, thanks for asking and for praying for me. I need grace as I travel and spend time with other writers. And I need grace for my family while I’m gone.
I am willing to pray as well, Beth. Saying one right now and believing God for an overabundance of grace for you and yours. xo
I will be praying, Beth! I already know what a blessing you’ll be to those writers at the retreat. Praying, friend and I know God will move in a mighty way!
Thank you. I’m learning to take my promise of praying for others very seriously — whether they are strangers or close ones. You’ve nailed it with this post, Jennifer. It is very easy to reason one prayer won’t make a difference. Your thoughts are wise and encouraging. Please pray for me as I go through a very busy period of transitioning from High School to University. I am facing so many fears and insecurities and I get very easily overwhelmed and tired lately. Also, I am going through a battle spiritually. Please also remember my family in those prayers. Pray God continues to encourage us in our difficulties and opens doors that have been locked for a long time now.
My sincere thanks for your kindness, Jennifer.
Ganise, I will be praying! Any time of transition can be a stressful one. The Lord absolutely does give us more than we can handle– but He does it so that we have no choice but to rely on him. Keep me posted on how things are going!