Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"I'll Be Praying For You"

A man in our church has just been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. I called his wife at home the other night and while talking to her, I asked if I could pray with her on the phone. She readily agreed.

When I finished, she asked if I'd call her husband at the hospital and pray with him, which I did.

You could tell that they both greatly appreciated it.

I got to thinking - we often tell people that we'll be praying for them, but how often do we let them hear us? I know a lot of people are uncomfortable praying in public - it merely takes experience to get comfortable with it, and you don't get experience, except by doing it.

So, in my weekly e-mail devotional this week, I sent the following "challenge" and "encouragement.'

Maybe this will help you, too.

“I’ll Be Praying for You”

Ever told someone, “I’ll be praying for you” or “I’ll put you on my prayer list”?

What about, “I’ll be thinking about you…” or (and I really hope not) “I’ll send ‘happy thoughts’ your way…”? (Sorry to tell you, but that won’t help a bit!)

If you’ve ever told someone, “I’ll be praying for you” then I’ve got a challenge for you - why not do it right then!

Instead of saying “I’ll be praying for you” say “Can I pray with you now?”

“Whoa,” you might say, “I can’t pray in public! I don’t know what to say.”

Why not? You’re just talking to God… about the person… for whom… you just told that you would! What’s the difference in doing that with them and doing it alone?

Try this - copy this prayer and put it in your purse or billfold and pull it out whenever you need it. You’ll be amazed at how much they appreciate it (and after a while, you won’t need a written prayer!)

Dear God, You know that I’m not real good at this, but I just want to thank you for allowing me to pray for __________.

God, we don’t always know how to pray, but then, we don’t have to; You alone are God. You know _________’s needs - the needs that are apparent, [name them if you want] and the needs that lie beneath the surface. And You know what will bring You Glory. We pray that You will bring those things together.

God, we just want to take this brief moment to share our friendship before You, and pray that You will bless that friendship, and our service to You.

In Jesus’ Name - Amen.

Now just think… wouldn’t you love for someone to pray that with you today?

I just did...

I prayed for you by your name, if I knew it; or by your e-mail address if I didn't - but rest assured, God knows your name.

I prayed for you, where you are at 6:30 this morning - it's Monday... that can be exciting or tough. Some of you are dealing with death in your family today, and some are facing extreme illness - either in yourself, or family or friends. I lift you up.

Many of you are caring for children, or parents, or more likely - both. I know from experience how difficult that can be. I pray for strength, and more importantly sometimes, wisdom - "just what in the world, God, do You want me to do here..."

I know, I've cried those very words.

I pray for pastors, pastor's wives, (or spouses) and church staff. I pray for teachers, staff and support personnel. I pray for students, employers, employees, the self-employed, and the un-employed. God is there.

And I pray for your homes. God knows your every need. I told a group last week, "Everybody thinks that everybody else has it 'all together'... I've got news for you - ain't none of us got it all together!"

Every single one of us feels alone at times; every single one of us is afraid at times; every single one of us needs God. And God created us to need each other.

I've prayed for you... you pray for one another - and don't be afraid to let them hear you pray...


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