We often have the best of intentions when someone shares a difficult situation or need with us and we reply, “I’ll pray for you.” I can think of countless times when I had a brief conversation with someone at church or outside of the post office or a shop in which I told the person that I would pray for them. Unfortunately, many times, I would forget later to actually pray for them, even though I had fully intended to. I would even justify myself by praying retroactively days or even weeks later, thinking that with God’s infinite perspective, my belated prayer was heard in time or outside of time, thus being credited to the applicable situation.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to change not only my perspective but, more importantly, my practice of praying for others. It occurred to me that, yes, we pray to a God who listens and hears us, but another great thing about prayer is how it affects those for whom we’re praying. I realized that if I said, “I’ll pray for you,” there normally isn’t any reason why I can’t take the time to pray for them right then when they are sharing their burden with me. In this manner, we encourage one another and carry our burdens together. After putting this into practice, I have seen how oftentimes others who are nearby are positively affected by overhearing our time of prayer. When I prayed for a lady in need in a packed train car in Spain, I noted the unspoken words of compassion and grace on the faces of those who were in the vicinity.
I pray that we will be a people dedicated to praising the Lord, lifting others up to the throne room of our King and encouraging their hearts by praying together in moments of need. There are precious few other ways to so tangibly feel the encouragement and love from another than to hear or read their sincere prayer to our heavenly Father on your behalf.
ACT: You can be an answer to prayer to missionary families serving around the world. Through the prayer calendar, you can commit to praying daily for those serving with WGM. Print this calendar at www.wgm.org/praycal.