How often do you say “I will pray for you” in the course of a week? How often do you comment on a facebook or blog post with promises of prayer?
Now, how often do you actually say those prayers? How often do you remember from one minute to the next that you’ve promised to pray for a situation or for someone in your life? Do you ever say you will pray and then almost immediately forget?
If I’m honest, that happens to me more than I’d like to admit. I promise to pray, but then, in the midst of my own life, I forget. I remember when someone thanks me for the prayers, and then feel guilty because I can’t really remember if I prayed for that person when I said I would. My prayer life gets convoluted and selfish and I forget that we really are all in this together.
But when I do remember to pray? When I take someone’s trust and hold it sacred, it changes everything. It changes me. It changes the lives of those for whom I pray. It changes the way I feel about my faith. It changes the priorities of my own life because it forces me to get out of my own world and think about others. It creates an intimacy that doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Recently I asked for prayer on a semi-public forum via the Influence Network. Can you imagine the peace and joy and love that permeated my soul when I got an email back saying they were praying for me and my prayer wasn’t silly or small?
With that in mind, here are some ways you can make a difference in your prayer life:
- Don’t say you will pray for someone if you know you really won’t
- When you say you’ll pray for someone, pray immediately. Don’t wait.
- Write down those prayer requests. Keeping a prayer journal is a quick way to see how prayer is working in your life and the lives of your friends and family.
- Don’t make prayer hard. Praying is just going to God, asking Him for guidance and professing your faith that He is God and you are not. You don’t have to use flowery, church-y or special words. You just have to go to him.
- Remember others in your prayer life first. Helping other people puts your life in perspective and gives you a chance to make yourself less and others more.
- Don’t give up. If you forget to pray for someone, admit it, ask for forgiveness and recommit yourself to prayer every day.
- You can never pray too much.