When it’s Hard to Say (or Hear) “Praying for You”
“I’ll pray for you,” can be a very meaningful statement. However, no matter how sincere the offer is, it can be received with less than an enthusiastic response. Broken relationships, financial difficulties or the recent loss of a loved one, can cause even the most faithful to question if God loves them or even notices their circumstance. As a person shares the pain of feeling like God is distant, our offer to pray may seem trite, insincere, or irrelevant in the moment.
So, why do we offer to pray for others? Jesus’ prayers expressed the heart of the Father towards those he touched. Prayer is an invitation for us to share the Father’s heart with His children. He desires for each person to feel known, cared for and encouraged. And, we know that through us, He can make Himself real in the moment.
When It’s Hard to Hear
Let’s face it – there are times that we as believers find ourselves frustrated with the ways of God. In our hearts we know He still loves us and longs for us to turn to Him for the comfort and encouragement we need. So even when we feel like He has let us down, we shouldn’t be so quick to tune out those who are praying. Instead, maybe request for them to specifically ask God to help us begin to trust Him again.
Another reason we as Christians might have a hard time hearing the phrase is when we feel like the sentiment is insincere. However, when someone offers to pray for us, let’s not question the motive or the follow through. The key issue is how we receive the concern of another person. And in hope and faith, remember, “The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect.” James 5:16 CSB.
A Promise to Pray
Saying, “I’m praying for you,” can so easily become a cliché, an empty promise to make a conversation a little more comfortable in the moment. Obviously, we do want to pray for people. Our intentions are good. Yet, our follow through can be less than ideal.
So how do we stand behind our commitment to pray? We need a plan to make promises happen. The easiest thing is to pray for that person right then and there. Keep the prayer quick, simple and focused on the need at hand. A one-minute prayer can move a moment filled with raw emotion to a place of renewed trust in God’s comfort, love and healing ways.
All in all, we must remember that God calls us to pray for one another. Philippians 4:6 CSB says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
So, whether or not you feel led to actually speak the words – “praying for you” – let’s remember that prayer is a powerful tool – one which actually can bring peace and relief to a hurting heart. While we must take into consideration how others feel about the phrase, it shouldn’t stop us from bowing our heads and lifting our worries, thoughts and concerns for one another to our loving Father.