Beyond ‘praying for you’
A few years ago, our family had a major medical emergency. The outpouring of prayer support we received from our church family and others—including people we didn’t know—was truly amazing.
Throughout the ordeal, I found myself especially encouraged by notes of prayer that were personalized. These days, I try to keep this in mind when I see others enduring trials and matters that can be lifted up to the LORD in prayer.
For example, someone you know comes down with cancer or a serious illness. They take to Facebook to let the world know. Too many times, we see it and simply post the words “praying for you” and keep scrolling.
Instead of merely commenting “Praying for you,” we could:
- Stop what we are doing and truly offer up a prayer to the LORD.
- Offer a more personalized prayer to God, then send the words by direct message, text, letter or other means to the person.
- Make yourself a note to remember the person daily.
Too often social media caters to the immediate. Those few precious moments we might have spent in prayer, we move on to the next post to see what entertaining, funny or outrageous thing we might see next on social media.
In doing this, I/we need to guard against pride and hypocrisy, the type of praying in public that Jesus warned about (Matt. 6:5). At the same time, what if your “praying for you” comment sounded more like this prayer?
“Heavenly Father, we praise You. I lift up to You now my friend (Name). During their time of affliction, please send relief. We pray for their full healing, and we ask that Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Glorify Yourself, O LORD, during their trial, and let them come into the open places where Your blessings abound. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”
How much more would this mean to the person—and perhaps even to the LORD—if we took our “praying for you” to the next level?
While I am thankful for each and every show of support and prayer I have received during trials in my life, I will always remain especially grateful for those who went out of their way to pray without ceasing, and with great fervency.