Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It’s Like Saying “See Ya Later”

“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 who have 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Be blessed!

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  1. Powerful post, Leah. I can so relate to your reaction of smiling and cringing. I don't like to say this unless I MEAN it.

  2. pinkdaisyjane says:

    I had to get into the habit of praying right then and there so it wouldn't be an empty phrase.

    Wise words, Leah.


  3. I very recently wrote a post exactly about this: http://alwaysmydaddysgirl.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/1-corinthians-12/

    I very consciously try to pray for someone in front of them right there and then (be it in person, email, twitter etc.) saying what exactly it is that I am asking God for on their behalf instead of a generic "I'm praying for you."

    But even more than that I am learning to see what I can do beyond praying. If someone is discouraged, can I pray AND send them something? If someone is struggling financally, can I pray for them AND help with a bill?

    Thank you for talking about this difficult yet important issue. Love you sweet sister.

  4. That's exactly why I post the prayer right on Twitter or FB…that way I know that I know that I know that I won't get distracted and forget.

    I love you girl…and praying for you is an honor.

  5. You are right.
    We should never throw that phrase out unless we really mean it.
    You are also right…your prayer might be the only one said for that person that day.

    Having been the recepiant of prayer that carried me through a nightmare ..I can tell you this. Sometimes there is nothing that can be done for anyone BUT to be prayed for and THAT is often the MOST POWERFUL, MOST HELPFUL act we can give. Prayer still works!

  6. Kissed by the Creator says:

    Great post.When my kids were little the knew the stop drop and roll fire safety thing. Well i taught them to stop drop and pray. They knew if someone called for prayer and they saw me hit the floor that they best either join in prayer or be quiet. Same thing on FB posts and twitter. You know I post prayers right then and there because I am over 40 and I don't want to "forget" well intentioned prayers don't get actually prayed. So like my friend pinkdaisyjane…I pray immediately so "distractions" can't rob me of the joy of hearing the answer to my prayers! So… Let's pray. Holy spirit please quicken to our hearts all those that we "said" we'd pray for and lets lift them up NOW. Help us to be keepers of our word and prayers of our prayers. In Jesus Name, AMEN.

  7. Wonderful post!! I used to be, before my stroke, before God really sat me down, the one that would say "Praying for you" and then not do so. Now I refuse to say that I will pray unless I mean it and do it and sometimes not until I did. When people tell me they are praying for me I really hope they are because we are to pray and do what we meant to do. Never ceasing! Sending you big hugs!!

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