“I’ll pray for you.”
Has anyone ever said that to you, and you wondered if they really followed through?
If they did remember to pray, was it just a quick, three-word sentence tossed into the air out of duty, or a heartfelt request surrendered at the foot of the throne?
What about us? How many times have we made that promise, only to forget, or lift up a few hasty words as we rushed on with our busy day?
It’s a crippling feeling to wonder if anyone out there cares enough to pray for us.
I knew Mama always prayed, but she’s been gone for many years now. I felt her loss deeply in the spiritual realm. For quite some time, I felt like I didn’t matter to anyone in my church. No one asked me for prayer requests, and when I had a problem, no one offered to pray with me or for me.(Note: someone may have been praying – I just didn’t know about it.)
Then God showed me that I could offer that security to other women so they would never feel left out or overlooked like I did. He began to teach me how to pray according to His Spirit. And He taught me how to reach out to others to ask that they pray for me.
Prayer is a gift we offer to others.
I wish I could say my journey was smooth, but I’m still making mistakes. When I committed to becoming a woman of prayer, I knew I had to be dependable. No more good intentions – I had to nail it every time and never forget. Yet the more I got involved in lifting up my sisters, the less I could keep track of the details. Realizing I had to get more organized, I began to jot notes and stuff them in my purse. I prayed that God wouldn’t allow me forget anything, and that I would create a habit of reflecting back over my day.
After making a list of my close friends and family, I asked God to show me anyone else He wanted me to lift up. In my eagerness, I found myself trying to pray for nearly everyone I knew! Yet I soon realized that He had specific people He wanted to assign to me.
I’ll never forget the day I sat in the youth chapel at my church, glowering at a young man who kept disrupting the service. Very clearly God spoke to my heart with a question: “Who is praying for that boy?”
My breath stopped for a second, and my stomach dropped. While I am certain he is included in the youth pastor’s continual prayers for the class, I understood God’s point – everyone needs the committed prayers of another human being.
How many people around us are stuck in a pit of wrong thoughts and behaviors because no one is fighting for them? How many are battling enemy attacks or facing tests of faith, and need us to help them stand firm?
Ladies, will you join me in reaching out? We must get on our knees and commit to lifting up those God has laid on our hearts. Not out of duty, but out of love. We can’t just mumble our good intentions and hope we remember later to go before the throne. Our sisters (and brothers) desperately need us!
Who are you praying for?