I often struggle when I see people respond to this question. Are they really praying? Is it just a nice thing we say to one another to make us feel better? Do we really believe in the power of prayer?
Several years ago, I was challenged by the answer to this question myself. Telling someone that I would pray and then forgetting in the chaos of life and feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt when I saw them the next time realizing that, in fact, I did not pray. So, my approach to the question changed. Instead of saying that I would pray, I started doing it. Right then and there. In person, on the phone, even on a social media post – typing it out for them to see. I’ve often been met with surprise when I ask, “Would it be OK if we pray right now?” but after a moment spent before the Throne room of Heaven, our hearts are joined together, the peace of the Holy Spirit is present and I’m more likely to actually remember through the course of my chaos to lift that person before the Father.
I once did a very scientific experiment. I conducted a Facebook survey of sorts. Yeah, that’s as scientific as I get these days. I posted the following question:
“When someone asks for prayer and you say that you are praying, what does that look like?”
I have to admit; I was strangely surprised and incredibly encouraged by the comments. Granted, people that post an emoji of praying hands or say, “praying” and don’t pray in real life did not comment on my post. Because who really wants to say they aren’t, right? However, most of the comments included one or more of the following:
- I stop everything and pray right then. (One even truthfully admitted that he is terribly forgetful and that is why he does it immediately.)
- I add it to my prayer list and pray over it every day.
- If it is on Facebook or in a text, I type it out so they know I really prayed.
To be honest, I was overwhelmed by the response. Not just that people are actually praying, but by the vast sum of the responses. My heart was overcome knowing that behind some of those comments are people that have said they would pray for me. As I read their comments, it was as though their love and commitment flowed out of the screen at me; I could hardly breathe.
Grateful…and prayed for,