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Tonight, I received a phone call from my dad and mom asking me to pray for something related to my extended family.
Obviously, this is something I’m praying for already.
But the phone call got me thinking.
How many times do you say you’ll pray for so and so? How many of those times do you actually pray for so and so?
Asked another way…how often do you tell people you will pray for them? And many of those times do you actually follow up by praying?
Maybe you are a prayer warrior like my wife.
But I’m guessing many of us aren’t as consistent with our prayers – especially when we offer to pray for someone or something.
The Bible talks a lot about prayer…
…pray continually. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44)
…pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:28)
…pray that you will not fall into temptation. (Luke 22:40)
…pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do. (Jeremiah.42:3)
Look up prayer in your Bible application (like YouVersion) or in your concordance. You’ll find many other prayer references.
If the Bible talked so much about prayer, I think it’s probably a big deal.
What stops us from praying continually like it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17?
Lack of faith? Laziness? Impatience? Lack of focus? Fear of inadequacy? Failure to make prayer a priority? Self-dependence? Short-term memory?
It’s probably all of the above for many of us.
Prayer is an important discipline. It gives us the opportunity to talk to and listen to God. Prayer gives us the opportunity to acknowledge who God is. Prayer gives us the opportunity to confess our shortcomings – our sins. Prayer gives us the opportunity to express thanksgiving for God’s movement and provision in our lives. And prayer provides the opportunity to bring our requests and concerns to God.
Next time someone asks you to pray for them, make sure you mean it when you say “yes.” Write down their request. Commit in your heart and mind to pray about the person or the situation. Follow-up with the person to see how your prayers are being answered or to adjust your prayers to changes that may have happened along the way. Consider praying for the person or situation right then and there when you are asked.
If you’re not going to pray for them, don’t lie and tell them you’ll pray.
One more thing…if prayer isn’t your thing, go find someone who is a prayer warrior. Ask them about their prayer life. I bet their answers will be helpful.