I want to do something for you. I want to release you from ever having to say that you’ll pray for me. You heard me right. You don’t have to. In truth, I’ve taken it with a grain of salt that you actually would. Aside from the few that I do know who actually do have that type of prayer life, I know that when the phrase ‘I’m going to pray for you’ or ‘I’m praying for you‘ slides out during a hard conversation or big reveal or as a greeting/farewell, that ‘prayer’ is either going to be forgotten or turns into a random thought where we say, ‘Oh, God, by the way…’.
Along with that, I want to apologize for saying that I’m praying for you when I really meant to just say it to bring you peace of mind or reassure you somehow when I didn’t actually mean it. Yeah, I’ve mentioned your name to God kinda of like a gossip about mutual friends type thing. Like, “Hey, you know this person? Yeah, me, too. Did you hear what’s going on?”
So, there’s that confession.
And yes, I understand that some people may be offended and say, “But I pray for people! I do!” And I’m not lumping all of you together because the ones who don’t (the majority) will read this, and instantly know that I’m talking to them.
One of the greatest examples of prayer would have to be the Apostle Paul, and if you take time to just read his letters to the church, you will see just how important and pivotal prayer was in his life.
- Paul the Prisoner- for the most part, Paul spent a lot of time in prison or jail because of his ministry. There isn’t much you can do from there that depends on you. Paul leaned on two things, writing letters and praying (mostly the combination of both). He realized that God was all that was needed to give the people what they needed.
- Paul the Poster Boy- remember that Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles, these were people who didn’t know about Jesus or about the one true God. He wasn’t just praying for them, but teaching them how to pray by showing them personally. This is one of the reason why he wrote exactly what he was praying for them in his letters. He could have easily just said “Oh, I’m praying for you”, but he didn’t.
- Paul the Precise- Paul never just says generic prayers. He gives insight to what he is praying for and how he is praying for others. There are so many examples.
- “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
- “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…” (Ephesians 1:16)
- “…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him…” (Ephesians 1:17)
- “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6)
- “…that you may know…what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)
- “…as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith?” (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10)
Just to name a few of them.
So, I started this out by saying that I free you from the responsibility of praying for me….wrong! I said I free you from the responsibility of ‘saying‘ that you’ll pray for me. Many years ago, I made a commitment that whenever someone would ask for prayer that I would offer to call them or meet with them to pray with them. I got into the habit, but I’ve lost it over the years. I’m going to get back into that habit again, and I challenge you to do the same.
“But what if I don’t have time?”
“What if they’re in a different time zone?”
“What if I’m not good at praying out loud?”
Trust me, none of your excuses work. If anything else, you could take a cue from Paul and write out your prayer and send it to them. However, I’m challenging you to pray with people. What will that do?
- Actually get you to pray
- strengthen your relationship with that person
- get you into the habit of prayer
- encourage others to pray
- open up opportunities to minister in a deeper way to others
- show the power of God through you
- so much more
Many of you know that I’ve been writing a series on prayer called the Abandoned Prayer Series. ‘God, Make Me Uncomfortable’ and ‘God, Make Me Broken‘ are the first two books. My prayer is that you’ll learn to prayer with Abandon and see God work in your life. To do that, we must level up in our prayer game.
Pray with each other.
Pray without ceasing.
Pray with abandon.