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Entries in Committing to Pray (1)

Tuesday
Sep292015

Praying for Others: A Call to Commit

If you want to know someone with a tender heart, meet Julie Watson. In this unique Prayer UPRADE, she reminds us to be careful when we say, "I'll pray for you."

“Where, oh where, have all those gone who committed to pray for me?” Julie says.

OK. I (Dawn) just felt a pang of guilt. Did you? Instead of running from the conviction, I want to face it head-on. And Julie's here to help.

She continues . . . 

Praying for others is a vital and daily part of our Christian walk. Nowadays, with the popularity of social media, I now find myself praying for online unknown acquaintances several times a day. But, lately I have wondered, “Where, oh where, have all those gone who committed to pray for me?” 

Lately, I have felt forgotten.

I rarely ask for prayer for myself. I have always felt my needs were so small in comparison to the serious nature of others, I didn’t feel right to ask. I’m often the one asking, “May I pray for you?” At least, that was the case until recently. 

As my husband and I embarked on the most difficult journey of our lives two years ago, we knew we would need to be surrounded in prayer for every stage of this new adventure:  adopting children out of the foster care system. We had many people from all walks of life wrap their arms (literally and figuratively) around us in love, support and prayer. It has been an amazing experience to feel so cared for and to know that someone is always praying for us and our new children.

Now, let me preface the rest of this blog by saying:

Without a doubt, I know people continue to pray for us daily.

Without a doubt, I know we are on the minds and hearts of some wonderfully committed friends, family and church members.  

However, the numbers feel as though they’ve significantly dwindled. I have literally gone weeks, and even months, only hearing from a few dear friends. 

Many, with the best intentions, have said, “I will call you next week” or “Let’s get together for coffee and to talk/pray,” etc.—only to never call or check in again. 

While I know life is busy and throws us off track at times, there is significant importance to keeping our word in things we’ve committed to doing—especially in praying for others.

I’ve failed at this myself many times. I used to tell people, “I’ll pray for you.” However, I often didn’t remember to do so. I found life got busy and it wasn’t until I saw that person the next time that I remembered to pray for them.

So, in order to stay true to my word, I changed to say, “Can I pray for you right now?”  Or, “I am praying for you now.” This helped me connect with that person and address their immediate needs, hopefully showing them God’s love and concern for them in the process.

So, if you are struggling to stay committed to praying for others, here are a few suggestions to help you keep your word, build your own faith as you see others’ prayers answered and stand in the gap for those in need.

1. Don’t commit unless you are SURE you will do it.

Face it, your word is your vow. Show that it is not empty and spoken in vain. 

You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth” (Deuteronomy 23:23).

But whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected…” (I John 2:5). 

2. Once you commit, make a plan to STAY committed. 

 Whether you need to plug it into your calendar, create a reminder on your phone or write Post-it Notes all over your bathroom mirror, make sure you do something that works for YOU to keep your word.

3. Check in REGULARLY with the person you’ve committed to praying for. 

How will you continue to know how to pray—or rejoice in an answered prayer—if you don’t check in with those you are praying for? Just put it on that calendar or phone or Post-it Note to check in within a reasonable amount of time.

4. Create a HABIT of praying for others as a daily routine. 

 Whether you have committed to pray for anyone or not, remember: God calls us to pray for others, period. (1 Timothy 2:1, James 5:13,16, Ephesians 6:18, Romans 8:26-27)

Whether I hear from others or not, I can rest assured knowing my Heavenly Father loves and cares about me. I know that praying for others is an important part of my walk and it’s essential to keep my word.

When I pray for others I will be personally blessed and grow in faith as I watch God answer prayer. 

Where are you struggling? Are you struggling with keeping your commitment to pray for others?  Or, do you need someone to wrap their arms and prayers around you today? 

Right now, go to the Father in prayer. He will provide the right prayer partner for you—trust Him!

Julie Watson worked in children’s ministries for 10 years and as an Executive Director and Grant writer before becoming a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful children. She and her husband Shawn know these children were hand-picked by God to be their own, and plan to adopt them as soon as they are legally allowed.

Graphic adapted, photo by Jordan Sanchez, Unsplash.com.