By Robyn Hubbard
“I am praying for you!”
How many times a week do you say this? Send it in a text or email? Use it as a Facebook comment?
Unlike the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter world, where everyone seems to have it all together and be oh-so-holy, let’s get real for a minute. Do you ever, like me, avoid social media because every time you log on you have to add eight new desperate needs to your mental prayer list? It’s just too overwhelming sometimes. It might be a stranger with a missing child, a family member with a terrible illness, or an anxious friend having a hard day. We want to pray for people. We know they need it. We sympathize with them. Our hearts break with them. And so we reach out and use the only words we know to offer in that moment.
“I am praying for you.”
And we mean it. And we might even pray right in that very moment. We have great intentions.
And then we forget.
Are you like me and you don’t always pray when you say you will? You know your friend is in need and you genuinely intend on praying when you hear about their situation, but then life happens. You have to pack lunches and drive your kids to soccer and fix dinner and clean up the kitchen and spend quality time with your husband and catch up on your DVR and then you fall into bed and are asleep before your unwashed hair hits the pillow. The day has gone by and you have just…forgotten.
Days later, that request for prayer crosses your mind and you beat yourself up for not following through with that reassuring promise to pray. You text or call to ask your friend how she is doing. Her storm has passed and she thanks you for praying.
Y’all. We’ve got to stop doing this. God has called us to pray and intercede for each other. He longs to hear our voice calling out to Him in belief. He wants to answer our prayers. He desires closeness with His children.
So, where are we?
Where are we when our friends are hurting? Our family members are lonely? Our co-workers are grieving? Our children are confused?
Where are we?
I know that most days, I’m just trying to make it through the day. I just want to check off my to-do list, get dinner on the table, and I will admit, sit down to catch up on my stinkin’ DVR. I think it’s okay to have those days and to give yourself a little grace, but let’s get intentional. Prayer is serious business.
So how do you get intentional? Well, let’s start by getting practical.
Let’s pull out our otherwise distracting smartphones and use our notes to keep track of more than our grocery lists. Let’s download a prayer journal app or email ourselves a reminder. Let’s write those names down and hang them on the bathroom mirror. Let’s treat ourselves to a cute new journal and a good pen just for prayer.
“But there’s just no tiiiime!” I don’t know about you, but I whine so much about not having enough hours in the day, I tend to annoy myself. But the truth is, we can all find time if we are intentional. Let’s get up early. Let’s pray during our lunch hour or while our toddlers are taking a nap. Let’s pray in the shower or on the treadmill. Let’s call out names while we fold laundry or during our commute to work. And then, let’s mark those answered prayers off our list so that when certain requests seem impossible, we can remember what God has done and believe with confidence that He will do it again.
If we are intentional, there are pockets of time that we can use to make a difference in someone’s life. It truly does matter.
I absolutely love this quote by Lysa TerKeurst:
“Let’s commit to holding these truths close in the days ahead: prayer does make a difference – a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don’t need to know how. We don’t need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl’s prayers extend far wide and far high and far deep.”
You never know when you will be the one who needs prayer. You don’t want some half-hearted, insincere “I’ll pray for you”. You don’t want a look of sympathy and a fake pat on the back. You want some on-fire Jesus girls crying out to the God of the universe on your behalf!
I have seen miracles happen and I have a deep desire to see more. He hears us! He really, really does. Let’s stop just having good intentions when it comes to prayer and start being intentional.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14