I can't tell you how many times over the years I have used this phrase, "I will be praying for you."
Great phrase - if it is meant from the heart - and applied.
I read an article this week from Relevant Magazine that sparked this blog.
Let me quote from it and add on my own comments.
Prayer is important.
Prayer is the foundation of all that we are as followers of Christ.
The author of this article writes, "That said, the reality is that too many times Christians use this phrase as a general blanket statement to tell someone know we care, but only in a passing, surface level way. It can become almost routine to throw out the prayer line whenever someone shares a concern. Sometimes we follow through on it, often we don't."
We are all guilty (is that the right word?) of doing this - not because we intentionally want to mislead someone - but because we want that person to know we care.
Or here is something else we Christian types like to say, "Call me if you need me."
What that can sometimes mean is: "I really want to help - but would probably pass out if you did call me - and know you never will."
Again, well-intentioned people using well-intentioned words.
Here are some practical suggestions from the article:
"Perhaps instead of just letting someone know we'll pray for them (or help them if they call), we should offer up other practical ways to serve them in love (I would add - in an unsolicited kind of way).
Are they sick? - maybe they need a warm meal (without being asked).
Just got laid off? - Maybe some extra cash to pay some bills (without being asked).
New mom overwhelmed with a baby? - Offer to help do their laundry or clean their house (without being asked).
Finally, the article states, "If you do tell someone we'll pray for them, be intentional. Ask them what specifically you can pray for them about. Write it down so you'll remember. Call or text them to check in. Let's not brush off the hurts of others with an empty promise to pray that we'll likely forget."
Good, solid words for a Wednesday - my desire is to practice what this article preaches.