I’ll Be Praying for You
I said, “I’ll be praying for you.”
I meant it. I would be praying. My friend was in a tough situation.
So why did my response bother her? Why didn’t it make her feel better? Wasn’t that what she needed?
Well, yes and no.
She did want God’s help. And she appreciated prayers. She had already been praying herself to God every day.
She knew God heard her cries.
But her need now was answers to those prayers.
And one of those answers?
It was supposed to be me.
How Many Prayers Are Enough?
God doesn’t work by popular demand. One prayer is enough to get God’s attention.
Instead of passively waiting for more prayers to stack up on my friend’s behalf, God was already ready to move.
How? One way was by prompting people—people like me—to get moving.
But we were too busy just praying.
Do we use prayer as a substitute for action? Do we think if we spend 10 minutes a day, maybe every day, maybe even 30 minutes on a good day (pat on the back!) talking to God about our friends, that we’ve done well?
Maybe prayer is only step 1. Maybe God is prompting us through our desire to pray (which is a good thing) to become an answer to the prayer as a step 2 and 3 and 104.
- What if instead of praying, “God, please help my friend,” we prayed, “God, use me to help my friend.”
- What if instead of praying, “God, I trust you to take care of this,” we prayed, “God, you trust me to take care of this with your help.”
- What if instead of praying, “God, comfort my friend as only you can,” we prayed, “God, help me comfort my friend in the ways I can.”
Even Jesus, after praying in the wilderness by himself, would return to his friends, moving on to heal, listen, teach, love.
Be an Answer to Prayer
If my friend that day had wanted to be blunt with me (but she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, so she wasn’t), she might have said:
“Don’t just talk to God about me. Talk to me too.
God already knows it all. We’ve been talking. I know God is on this.
I don’t need more prayers right now. I need you to be an answer to prayer.”
I get it now.
Instead of more prayers, my friend needed more people in answer to the prayers already prayed.
- More listening ears.
- More compassionate hearts.
- More shoulders to cry on.
When God’s answer to the prayer is me, I don’t want to be too busy praying to respond.
I knew I still couldn’t change my friend’s situation and take away her pain.
- But I could sit beside her in it.
“I’ll be praying for you, but I’ll also stay here with you.”
- I could assure her she’d be seen and heard.
“I’ll be praying for you, but I’ll also be listening to you.”
- I could say I’ll check on you again tomorrow.
“I’ll be praying for you, but I’ll also talk to you again soon.”
Granted, we can’t take action like this for everybody we pray for. Sometimes offering a prayer is all we’re equipped to do. And that’s fine. Pray continually. Keep the line open for an ongoing conversation with God.
But for the other times? In situations where we actually can help in a tangible way?
Instead of asking God to handle it all, let’s allow God to handle us as we reach out our hands.
God, use my prayer to change me so I can be an answer to prayer.
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