July 27, 2018
How often do we hear the words, “I will be praying for you,” or in social media when someone posts the need for prayer, we see the comment thread replete with the word, “praying.” In this fast paced generation, it seems to have become something more of a knee-jerk verbal response to the often asked request without giving any real honest thought.
I have to admit that there are times I am inundated with emails, messages, and texts from so many people pleading for prayer for some very serious, and devastating issues that require intense, depth of prayer that it deserves.
People going through harrowing trials too numerous to describe, that would make you weak in the knees if I told you, and give you sleepless nights. Mothers and fathers crying for prayer help for their lost, homeless, drug addicted, demonically ravished sons and daughters.
Marriages that were once rich with love, now battle grounds of the worst hatred and all manner of wickedness, and destructions imposed on one another, or one of them. God only knows my own deep internal grief that I want to pray for them all, and do it with my whole spirit, with my whole being grabbing a hold of the answer for them!
I could go on, but the point I am trying to make is that this is a generation of easy believism. Coined Christian phraseologies, and snap verbal responses are fruitless in the end. In many cases, they are only post-modern learned responses that have appearances of righteousness but are hollow, meaningless and dead.
I really thought about it one day when I was looking at how many people so quickly say they “will pray,” or just the word, “praying.” I wondered in my thoughts one morning towards the Lord saying to Him, “Lord, they say they are praying or will pray, but Lord are they really praying?”
I understand there are times we are faced with an avalanche of desperate needs, while other times, perhaps the situation is so horrific, our only response is “I will pray for you!” Then we walk away feeling badly knowing that we really are not going to pray because in reality, we are innocently at a loss for words.
In a sense, we feel that when the worst, heaviest issues and needs come across our way, we are faced with an expectation of an immediate proper response. That is why we say, “I’ll be praying for you.” Then out of a heart of integrity we sit down to pray for them but are without words due to the grievousness of the circumstance. This is different though and not what I am trying to nail down here.
This is a sensitive, and vast subject, as I know many might be reading this feeling as though I am correcting people. However, this is just as much for me as it is for anyone else.
I mean let’s be real here. Only God knows who is praying after all, but what really gets me is the quick and easy response of saying “I’ll be praying for you.” Again, I reiterate by saying this is in regards to those who mindlessly type in the word “praying” when they have real no intention of doing so, but do it to make the other person feel better. And in other occasions to make themselves feel better because they feel stuck and want to say something nice.
In fairness, I want to say that many do say they “will pray,” or “praying” and are actually doing so. But that is not what I am addressing here, and it is not for me to know who is or who is not actually doing so, like I said, only God knows and it ends there.
I thought about this issue in light of scripture, and I held that light up to my own heart. Because I always try to avoid saying to a person I will pray for them, if I really know that I won’t.
Not because I do not want to, but because I have so much going on in my life that knowing myself I will forget. I am just being honest here, and that is what I believe God wants from me anyway.
I take this very seriously, in a very personal manner because prayer is from God, and is given to us to give back to Him like carrier pigeons, and it must be pure, honest and true, because that is exactly who and what God is. And He can honor nothing that is not the same. “For of Him, and through Him, to Him, are all things: to whom be glory forever Amen.” Romans 11:36 KJV.
You see, I am aware that when we set our hearts to pray, we are praying to the Monarch of the Universe, the “Righteous Judge who judgeth righteously.” To our Lord Jesus Christ who is quick to listen, and who is a “very present help in time of trouble.” He is a very real person who told us to “pray without ceasing,” and He would never tell us to pray and never expect an answer, but integrity is everything to Him.
I found that when I only pray with an unfeeling mind, and unfeeling heart, it feels as though “I am only beating the air,” and my prayers are unperfumed, lifeless, and have no meaning.
It feels awful, and I want to mean what I say, and say what I mean. Not from some self-emotionally generated action. I would rather wait and let it enter into my heart where Christ is seated, allowing life to enter into that prayer to be answered by the “life giving source” Jesus Christ who wants to answer our prayers.
Our words are powerful according to Solomon in Proverbs 18:22, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” and since that is true, whatever we say to “the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy,” [Isaiah 57:15 KJV], then it behooves us to reserve our words, our empty, well-meaning words, until we can say it from a heart of truth and conviction.
This honors God, and our Lord Jesus Christ who are ready to do business with us, but there are conditions that are resolute, strong and all based on holiness unto God out of love for Him.
Nothing feels worse than praying when my heart in not united, disconnected and disjointed. I want to pray with my whole heart, and I work on this daily from conviction and a sincere heart in the open truth of my weakness. I want to say what I mean, and mean what I say or else, just “keep silence.”
I think that mostly everyone who will read this will understand because I know, that if you truly love Jesus Christ, you are going to love what He loves, and that includes His ways of doing things from your hearts, out of pure love for Him first and foremost.
Let met challenge you this day. From now, on when you see a post about a serious, or even non-serious situation, and your fingers are ready to speed type, “praying,” stop for a moment. Do not go any further.
Take a few seconds to be honest and ask yourself, “Will I really pray?” If you answer, “No, in truth Lord I really am not going to pray,” then be at peace. God wants us to “walk honestly,” and to live a life that has virtue and integrity where we, from our hearts live and walk in the blessed truth before the God of Truth.
If you truly can answer yourselves honestly in the affirmative, then by all means, answer “I will pray for you.” Then joy will commence with power from on high. Remember, “No lie is of the truth,” and when we tell people that we will pray for them and do not do it, then we fill them with false hope, and that is not what we want to do. For Jesus is the God of Hope.
Saying a heartless prayer is no prayer at all.
Jesus says, “but let your communication be, yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” Matthew 5:37 KJV.
We are called to live honestly, to walk in truth, and to “love the truth for truth’s sake.” We do not want to let people think we are praying for them when we are not, then be caught in the thicket of internal embarrassment when we see them again, and they thank us for praying for them.
This is serious, because Jesus takes what we are asking Him seriously, and He takes the issues of the people brought to Him in the vehicle of prayer with intense seriousness. Let us be valiant in this life of walking in His truth which is holy character.
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in the world.” 1 John 4:17 KJV.
If you know you will most likely not pray for a person, then do not tell them you will pray for them, instead take a couple of more minutes rather to type out a lovely, encouraging word to them, or speak words of comfort.
If you have some extra time, stop and ask them if you can pray for them right then and there, and in some cases, you can type out a prayer as well, as long as it is from a pure heart of concern and honesty towards God and that person.
In many cases, that is what they are desperate for anyway and your words of life will empower them right then and there. Take advantage of the time and “work while it is still called day.” You can even tell them, “As the Lord will lead me, and moves I will lift you up,” and they will be comforted in their hearts and their hope will be affirmed.
This is not a way out of praying, but a mature way that keeps the door open for you while you wait on the Lord during time of personal devotion and prayer. In these seasons, since you kept that door of prayer open to the Holy Spirit, you will then give opportunity to Him to move within you regarding that prayer request, and then the “prayer of righteousness which availeth much,” will flow upwards in power to Him that answers.
You will pray from a sincere place of honesty in truth and integrity, which pleases your Father in heaven. Because in heaven, and what comes from heaven, which is prayer, must also return into heaven the same way. In holiness, and spotless purity.
I have often found that whatever does not move me (in prayer) most likely will not move God either. Therefore, move with God in prayer by walking in His love and respect towards hurting, desperate and wounded people that ask you to pray for them. This is love.
There is far more power living the life of truth in Christ, than to offer something empty, even being well-meaning, that will never exist. This brings dishonor rather than honor to both God and the one offering that kind of prayer.
Let us choose to be true to our own word, because our own word reflects who we really are, whether we be in Christ or not.
Just as Jesus is the Word, and the word is God. John 1:1 and Revelation 19:13.
“Thy word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Psalm 119:105 KJV.
This will satisfy the Father’s heart after all, which should always be our goal and brings the highest honor to His beloved Son Jesus Christ.
He will then begin to trust us more and more, and the door of prayer into the Holy of holies in heavenly places will begin to swing wide open to receive our heartfelt prayers, where He hears and answers to His great delight and namesake. You can rely on it.