I think the use of social media has caused us to say things sometimes without following through with our word or maybe not truly meaning what we say. Have you ever wondered if all the hundreds of people who reply to a post on Facebook with “I’ll pray for you” really follow through? I’m betting many do not for various reasons. When everyone else posts something, there can sometimes be a drive to join in. I don’t think people “forget” to pray, life happens and they just forget to follow through. Prayer is powerful but I think it’s also sacred too. Here are a few ideas the next time you feel compelled to say “I’ll pray for you”.
- Change your words- If you know you won’t follow through or are scared you might not, maybe just say, “thinking of you and your family at this time”. I’m not suggesting that you do not pray for people, just don’t commit if you can’t follow through.
- Stop what you are doing and pray as soon as you make the comment “I’ll pray for you.” Seriously, drop everything and do it. This way you don’t allow yourself time to get sidetracked with the nuances of life.
- Start a prayer journal. I’ve never tried this but always wanted to. This is a great way to keep track of who and what you need to pray for. I think this would be a great thing to teach children as well. In my Sunday School class, sometimes we start class with the list from the previous week week and make additions & changes to it before saying a prayer. This helps us to make sure we don’t forget anyone from week to week.
- Pray on the way to & from work. Someone shared this tip with me several years ago, and this has been a good way for me to set a routine each & every day.
- Find a time that works for you. For me, praying after I go to bed seldom works. I usually fall asleep before I ever finish, so I know I have to find other times in the day. Maybe try to say your prayer in the shower. Most people spend 10-15 minutes in the shower. Seems like this could be a good time to get your prayers said.
- Participate in a prayer marathon. My church has hosted these in the past and has another one scheduled. The concept is that for a 24 hour period of time, someone is at the church building praying in 30 minute increments. The person praying uses a list of prayer cards that have been submitted by members of the church as well as anything else he wants want to pray about. What a great way to spend some quiet time with God while praying for people who really need it!
Have you ever looked into just how many verses in the Bible talk about prayer? There are a ton! I am including only a fraction of the verses below.
Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
This is an awesome verse to tell someone- Ephesians 1:16: “I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
This one is pretty awesome, too: 1 Thessalonians 1:2: “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.”
Colossians 4:2: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17: “pray continually”
Ephesians 6:18: “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.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
The next time you say, “I’ll pray for you”, make your words count. Lots of people are counting on you!