“I’ll Pray For You”

“We’re keeping you in our hearts and prayers.”  Isn’t that the line you often hear when news of some catastrophe or calamity befalls a person or group of people?  I don’t want to question the sincerity or spirituality of people who make that comment.  What is far more important is what I mean when I tell someone I will pray for them.  To my shame I know many times I have agreed to pray for an individual only to forget all about it till the next time I see them.  In order to avoid that I began the practice of pausing for prayer immediately, even if it’s only just a quick sentence or two.

But over the last while I’ve even been re-evaluating that.  Not if I should pray, but what I’m praying.  Don’t you find that most often our prayers are more or less just asking God make life work the way we expect it to?  Fix this, get them out of this, or take this away? At times God’s will may be for our lives to work out in a manner that is pleasing or pleasant for us, but that’s not always be the case.

In Colossians 4:3 Paul asks for prayer, not to be released from his chains, but that he would be effective in telling about the mystery of Christ for which he was in chains.  But in 2 Thessalonians Paul asked for prayer for deliverance from evil men.  So how can we know what to pray for?

To begin with make certain that you are not simply praying your own will or desire.  Be careful not to make the assumption that making a problem go away must be God’s will.  Obviously Jesus is the prime example of this when he prayed “not my will but yours be done.”  But this brings up the next question, how do I know if I’m praying God’s will or my own?

I don’t think I’m being over simplistic when I say “ask him.”  I have begun trying to develop the habit of asking God what he wants me to pray for in a particular situation . . . and then actually stopping to listen.  Often listening involves going to scripture to hear from God there.  As you practice this you will be amazed at how clearly God shows you how to pray, and how different it often is from what your initial impulse in prayer was.

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About David Berg

I live in a small town in Alberta, Canada. I pastor a small Baptist church and also work half-time on a local seed farm. It has been more than 25 years that I have been married to a most amazing and beautiful lady whose name is Wendy. Together we have three boys, and two beautiful daughter-in-laws. View all posts by David Berg

4 responses to ““I’ll Pray For You”

  • Kathy (Hamm) Blatz

    I came across a link on facebook (Kim Page) for your blog and this article “I’ll pray for you”. How true……it is so easy to tell someone that I’ll be praying for them and then go on my way and forget all about it, as I get busy with “LIFE”! I continued reading your other articles and they are so good. I came to the conclusion that your wife, Wendy must be my cousin’s, Anne (& Henry) Banman’s daughter. So glad I came across this blog and look forward to receiving the devotionals as they become available! God’s blessings to you as you bless others with your wisdom and insight of scripture.

  • Karin

    Because it is so easy to say, “We’ll keep you in our thoughts and prayers,” and then quickly forget about it, I decided quite a while back, to say a prayer before I send or say that line. Usually it is a prayer of thanking the Lord that HE will work out all things for their good, that HE will never leave them or forsake them as HE promised and that HE will meet all their needs. Then, when their situation is brought to mind, I can pray again as often as needed. I wouldn’t have made it through my situation without the prayer support of others.

    I followed your link from Polly’s comment.

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