The truth is, we need each other's prayers. Yet most of us juggle multiple responsibilities. From the moment we wake up until we drop into bed at day's end, we're busy. So, how do we make good on the promise to pray for someone? Here are some strategies I've developed to help me back up my words with action.
- Write it down. If you don't have a prayer list, make one. Then place it where you'll see it regularly--like inside your Bible, next to your bed, or, if necessary, tape it to your bathroom mirror.
- Ask God to remind you. He will. Expect to be reminded while you're busy doing something else. Determine to pray on the spot for your friend, just as soon as you receive the prompting. If you must, excuse yourself to the restroom for a few minutes.
- Schedule it in your planner/Blackberry/Daytimer. As in: Monday, 9:30 - pray for Angela.
- Stay in touch with your friend. E-mail her or drop her a pretty note card reminding her that you're praying. Ask how things are going so you can pray specifically. This not only encourages your friend, it keeps you accountable while you pray her through.
- Remember, it's okay to pray for someone for a limited time. You can tell your friend, "I'll pray for you this week." I regularly modify my prayer list, crossing off one person and adding another as God leads and situations change. This way I don't have an unrealistic, never-ending prayer list.
- If you don't feel like you can manage to pray regularly for her right now, don't make the offer. You can always pray with her just once on the phone, over lunch, or whenever else you get together. Better one sincere prayer together than a promise you probably won't keep.
And we'll have the blessing of knowing we're partnering with God in other's lives.