Thursday, May 09, 2013

The "I'll Pray For You" Lie

Ever tell someone that you will pray for them or that you will be praying form them in a longer term type circumstance?  And perhaps at the time you sincerely meant it but by the end of the day, the promise and the details of their life faded into the background of yours and it never happens.  Perhaps it so escaped your mind that you don't even become aware of the mistake until you see that family again and to your horror, become aware of the oversight.  Or are you just one of those folks that uses the "I'll pray for you" line as an auto-response of sorts kind of like saying "bless you" when someone sneezes?

When people have needs well beyond our human capacity to help out with we do tend (as believers) to naturally offer prayer.  If you are like me you kind of fall into both categories outlined above but never with malice of intention.  Recently God brought this issue to the forefront of my attention as I began typing on someone's Facebook post.  As my fingers reached for the letters to spell out my prayerful promise, they froze over the keyboard and a voice in my mind inquired, "Do you mean what you are about to promise?  Are you going to pray for them?"  

I thought, "Well yes, I mean it and yes I will."

"Then do it NOW. Do it before you even finish typing so that when you say you're praying for them, that its already true!"

It struck me as my conscious struggled with this dialog and convicted me about well intended but ultimately hallow promises that its really a BIG deal to make such false promises whether innocently so or not.  Its very comforting to have any community support.  It's even more comforting as believers to know or at least think other believers are taking time out of their day to petition God on your behalf.  For that to be an empty gesture is just not acceptable.  If you are like me and need to pray in that very moment so as to not make this mistake again, then I urge you to do so.  For the rest of you that are organized, keep lists, and are diligent about honoring that promise...carry on!

But then again, why wait?

How can I be praying for you right now?


Mike Messerli said...

great post. thanks!