Monthly Archives: August 2014

I’m Praying for You…

ddYou’re on facebook, myspace, instagram, or one of the various other social media sites and you inevitably find that post from someone in their moment of desperation.  They are sharing a personal life situation that touches your heart and the first thing that comes to mind is to say, “I’m praying for you.”

I have been there all too many times.  Even in conversation with close friends, sometimes we are sharing and I am convicted in my heart to lift them up in prayer.  To remember them when I am asking God to walk alongside me and when I am lifting up my hearts concerns.  But how often that phrase crosses my lips, and at some point that day or the next day or even the next week, I realize, I never actually prayed for that person, or I offered up a quick “check-off” prayer so I could say, “I did it”.   It has become nothing more than lip service at that point.  How empty those words become when they are said without real conviction and sincerity to follow through with passion and conviction.  I thought about this today as I ended a conversation with a close friend by saying I will continue to pray for you.  Immediately my mind started venturing back to whatever I was working on, but that conviction in my heart started tugging back.  The Holy Spirit was giving me a check, asking, “are you really going to pray for that person?”  Even though I immediately offered up a prayer to the Lord for that specific need, the burden has not left me.  I have come to realize that I am guilty of diminishing that action either by offering up a half-heart prayer or no prayer at all.

We should be purposeful in our prayer life and respect the enormity of that communication with our creator, the almighty God.  God gave us prayer through the Holy Spirit because He desires a close personal relationship with his children.  He loves us, despite our sinful flesh, He loves us and created each of us for a purposeful relationship with him.  Our prayers should reflect that depth of love.  Not only should we pray when we say we’re going to, but we should pray earnestly.  I have read the gospels many many times and usually am focused on the love Christ displayed when He went to the cross in my place, but as I looked at the the book of Luke today, I stopped on the account of Jesus in the garden just before he was betrayed.  He was praying.  Check, got that, but thinking about my prayer life today, I was drawn to the description of this time of prayer by Jesus.  “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:44 NIV).  Have I ever prayed so hard I broke out in a sweat, or a sweat so heavy that it was like drops of blood?  Not even close.  Here is Jesus praying and seeking the face of God, asking for something that he already knew wasn’t going to happen, but giving that time of communication with the Father everything he had in him.

I am challenged today, and I hope you are too, to examine my prayer life.  First, am I really praying all those times I promise someone I will?  Then, how am I praying?  Am I really following the example of Christ and pouring my whole effort into each word I pray?  God loved me so much that He sent His son to die in my place so I could have a relationship with him.  He continues to desire a closer walk with me even when I stumble and fall, and he is always ready to listen to my prayer and speak to me through His word.  All of this is freely given without any expectation except I believe.  I think I owe it to the one that saved me through his grace to be diligent and earnest in my prayer life.  God, today, I pray for a spirit of earnestness.  May I treat the gift of prayer with the respect and reverence it deserves. Amen.