All of us have struggles and questions in life. Confusion and questions can torment our thoughts and heart regardless of how well we’re doing or even how good things can be.
Typically, in our American culture, we grab coffee while we hang out and talk. It’s common for most of us. I did just that with a friend last week while he explained in great detail what was going on in his life and a struggle he was dealing with. Sometimes, things are just out of our control which is difficult because we don’t like to feel so unsure of what is going to happen next. We hate not being positive whether we are going to get what we need or not.
As we finished our coffee and tossed away our cups, I did what most of us do and assured my friend that God was in control and told him I was there for him whenever he needed to talk. The heat of the summer air hit our faces as we walked out of the coffee shop, I said what has become as common in the church as getting a cup of coffee: “I’m praying for you, bro.” He shrugged his shoulders while looking at his shoes and said, “Yeah, thanks man.” Then, there’s the obligatory bro hug and we part ways.
While I was driving home, I began to think more about how I responded and how he responded. Why do people just shrug off our response when we give it? Because, we want answers! A relationship that rips your heart out and you don’t understand why…needing a job and it’s not provided right away…a family member or close friend is sick and we can’t explain it…
It occurred to me that we’ve made offering to pray for someone as common and typical as grabbing a cup of coffee. We don’t even think about it anymore. It’s become almost an instinctual and reactive response. Prayer is truly the most powerful action we can choose in life as a believer. We are all are one prayer away from our life being radically and completely changed. Yet, somehow we have reduced it’s power by making it a typical response.
And honestly, it’s our fault. Do we actually do what we said we’d do? Do we keep our word? Do we get on our knees and storm the gates of heaven for one another? Do we even remember to pray? Don’t simply throw the phrase “I’ll pray for you” out there in order to be polite- mean it wholeheartedly.
If someone says to you, “I’m praying for you”, you should take heart. Your faith should be encouraged and strengthened because someone has gone to the Creator of the Universe on your behalf and taken your request to God the Father.
May we put aside “politeness” and be genuine in what we say. May we hold our heads just a little higher because we know a brother or sister in Christ has our backs spiritually in prayer.