“God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you.” 1 Sam. 12:23
It’s a classic scenario. A friend approaches you with a need, asking you to pray. Eagerly, you nod and assure your friend, “I’ll be praying for you” … only to forget about it approximately 30 seconds later. And then there’s that twinge of guilt when you see the friend again: you meant well, but you totally forgot to pray.
Praying for someone in need is arguably the most unselfish thing you will do today. Committing to pray for someone means that you are willing to shoulder their burdens until the Lord provides answers or relief. But developing the habit of prayer takes discipline. Here are some things to remember:
- You are not responsible to pray for all the requests of the world. Pay special attention when someone comes to you and asks specifically for prayer.
- When you “take on” a prayer request, treat it as what it is: a divine commission.
- Ask God for reminders and take advantage of them when they come; don’t be surprised if they occur in the middle of the night.
- Don’t rely solely on divine reminders. Get the proper systems in place as memory aids. Keep a prayer journal to facilitate recall.
- Schedule a regular time for prayer, just like you would anything else of importance in your life — like exercise and meal times.
Just saying “I’ll be praying for you” may get you some points with your friend in the here-and-now, but it doesn’t make much impact unless you follow through. But the exciting thing is the more you pray, the more you will see God’s hand working in mysterious ways to answer your prayers!
“Gracious Holy Spirit, so much of my life seems to revolve around my interests and my welfare. I would like to live just one day in which everything I did benefited someone besides myself. Perhaps prayer for others is a starting point. Help me to do so without any need for praise or reward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” (From Richard J. Foster’s Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home)
Praying but not getting answers? See post titled An Explanation for Unanswered Prayer?