Your prayers for others are important. Here’s how not to let any names fall through the cracks.
Posted in , Aug 29, 2017
I was at my desk and my elbow went flying, knocking over half a cup of lukewarm tea. I dashed into the kitchen and got a wad of paper towels, wiping off all those yellow Post-It notes full of reminders to myself, including the one that has all the names of people I’ve promised to pray for.
Yes, I write them down. I keep thinking if I were a better person I would remember everybody I have promised to pray for when I’m praying. But I don’t. A name or two will come to me…and then I’ll forget a couple other names. Urgent situations. People who truly need prayer.
So here are three points for whenever you’re praying for someone else.
"If we can get Guideposts inspirational stories into the hands of people who may not have a devotional life, they can share the true-life stories of how God works in the world. The joy of Guideposts is their free, donated magazines to my hospital. --Rob C., Director of Pastoral Care.
1. Pray right away.
You’ve just heard about a friend who was rushed to the hospital with an infection. Or someone has told you about their frustrating job search. Or your next-door neighbor’s marriage has collapsed.
“I’ll pray for you,” you say. Do it then. Do it right while it’s on your mind. It doesn’t have to take long. You might send the person an email. You might text them. You might only let God know. But while your heart is full of compassion for the person and situation, bring it up in prayer.
2. Write it down.
If it’s an ongoing situation–and often those urgent requests are about ongoing problems–scribble the person’s name or the problem or whatever reminder you need so that you’ll have it when you need it.
Or even when you don’t need it. Like when your desk gets suddenly flooded with water and, in the deluge, you notice once again the name of that person who has been in and out of the hospital for weeks now. That reminds you of someone else whose name should go on that Post It note.
God remembers everything. I don’t. I’m glad to have a little help.
3. Let it go.
I used to think that I had to get all quiet and holy and spiritual before I prayed for someone and then I would have to come up with the perfect words to petition God.
I’ve become much less demanding with time. Prayer is not an avenue for perfectionism. In fact it’s a school for amateurs. To try to pray is to pray.
Do whatever is easiest for you. Pray before you fall asleep in bed at night. Pray when you wake up in the morning. Pray when you’re crossing the street. Pray when you’re driving in your car. Sing a song to yourself as a prayer. Put something up on Facebook.
It’s all practice and good practice. What I can say for sure is that to be the recipient of prayers is a wonderful, healing, life-saving thing. (I’ve written a book, Pray for Me, that says as much.)
It’s easy. Do it.