Someone speaks up, or emails you, or posts something on their Facebook page. You are concerned. What to do? Pray.
* Here’s an Iffy way to pray. Just say, “I’m praying for you.” (Hopefully you remember at bedtime to mention that person’s issue in your quickie prayer.)
* Here’s a Good way to pray. Say, “Drop me a line when you’ve got more time. I will pray about that tonight.” (Written down means the person puts in a few more words so you have a couple of specifics to mention when you do that goodnight prayer to God.)
* Here’s a Better way to pray. Say, “Let’s pray right now. Dear Father, there’s a need now for . . .“ And you pray out loud with that person right then, right there.
* Here’s an Even Better way to pray. (First, you do pray that Better way, right at that time with a few audible words, to the point, not dragging on and on, and close with a smile, assuring that person that you do believe God hears and answers prayer.)
And, then . . .
And, then . . .
The Even Better prayer has great possibilities. Very soon you sit down and write out a prayer for that person in that situation. You mention the fact of faith; you are trusting God to bless in ways maybe not even anticipated, but helping that person in some wonderful way. You acknowledge that He can bring wisdom, ability, and protection to that person.
Writing it down, sending it off via email or regular mail, now see how many more opportunities those words will present. The person receives it, reads it. Now he or she can print it off, or put it in a computer folder to read again. Maybe you mailed it. (Yes, that takes more time and costs you a stamp and a card or nice letterhead paper.)
Now, this prayer is not just some off-the-cuff words that you said, that they heard. This prayer is written down and given to them. It’s “official,” it’s something to see and review.
You mention some Bible verse in that written prayer and the person can look it up in their Bible and read some of the verses just ahead of — and just after — the part that you quoted.
(And, for special occasions write a prayer of blessing to your siblings, parents, spouse, and kids.)
That written prayer turns out to be a permanent encouragement, a thoughtful collection of words that underscores your caring. That prayer is more than ten words that he or she would have heard. You’ve shown an example of praying that many people would not do for someone else.
* But, now the BEST way to pray. You continue to pray for that person and that situation when the LORD prompts you to. He loves that person in your life, and wants them to be saved and live a new life of peace and joy. Yes, they are having challenges in life, but that is for their growth in faith and obedience.
Your spoken and written blessing for them is part of your own spiritual growth. When you start with tears you end up smiling. You are deepening your own spiritual life by your obedience, determination, trust, and love.
Why do you pray? First, because you love your Heavenly Father. He is so awesome, so great, so caring. You bring your concerns to Him after you’ve declared your certainty of Who He is. And you pray because you know He loves that other person; you pray in agreement with what and who and how He wants to bless. Your prayer is cooperating with His amazing plan to bless you and many, many others. Be thankful for prayer!
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The words pray, prayed, praying are found 436 times in the Bible, New Living Translation. (NLT)
By Elaine Hardt ©2014