“I’ll Pray For You” And Other Lies We Tell

This past week I had an opportunity to pray with a friend. The two of us gathered with another brother in Christ and we spent time before the Lord. In the course of that time, we lifted him up before our heavenly Father and just tried to encourage him and remind him of who is in Jesus. There is nothing better than speaking the truth to another because, in the end, we are speaking the truth to ourselves. However, something happened as we wrapped up our time together that I could not have anticipated. My friend, let’s call him Rafael, said something that just blew me away. Rafael looked at us and said, “Thank you for being my words.”

OK, I have to be honest, I did not know what to make of that statement. I was shocked by it. It had never occurred to me that when I pray for someone I would actually be praying for them. That the person that I am praying for would use my words for their prayer to God. That as I spoke, they were speaking. Not until that moment this past week have I ever understood the power of interceding for another, nor my own failure to follow through when I offered to pray for someone.

I have said, “I’ll pray for you,” and “I’m praying for you,” and just offered one prayer right then because I was thinking about it, but forget about them and their situation until I see them again. Or, “You should pray about that,” and I do not even offer to pray for them right there. Prayer is not our way of feeling better about ourselves or what’s going on around us. Prayer has become therapy rather than trembling; an outlet rather than an opportunity to engage God and allow Him to speak. I wonder sometimes if we see prayer as an option rather than as an act of surrender. Rafael needed someone else to speak for him. His heart had feelings and thoughts that were held captive by pain and confusion; issues that I and the other brother did not have. Look around you. What friend, neighbor, or family member needs your help in expressing what they are feeling, but are unable to articulate? I found the following quote by Richard Foster as I was looking for pictures related to prayer.

Does this reflect your view of intercessory prayer? I cannot say this was me before this event. However, I have found myself praying more this week. Not just because I need to, because I do. I find myself praying for those I have promised or offered to pray for, but have not done so as I should. I have come to realize that when I intercede I am standing in the place of another. The word “inter-cede” literally means to surrender for another. I have not been doing that as I should.

If you read my random ruminations would you pray for me? I desire to be more consistent and faithful to walking and talking with my Lord and Savior Jesus, my heavenly Father, and the great helper, the Holy Spirit. I need to surrender more and more in this area and I need your help.

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