Intercessory prayer has not always been my strong suit. Anytime a friend or family member tells me about a challenge or difficulty, my good Christian response has always been, “I’ll pray for you about that.” I never intended to be flippant or disingenuous. I fully intended to pray. Every time. But often by the time I got around to it, the thing had slipped right out of my mind. Please tell me I’m not the only one!
A former pastor of mine used a “pray with” instead of “pray for” solution to this potential problem. He would ask to pray with the person right then and there to make sure he followed through. I like this, but there is not always time or place. And I desired to be an “in-the-trenches” constantly praying support to my loved one. So I started using my iphone (something I always have on me) to help me remember.
It took some trial and error to find an app that fit into my lifestyle, but I finally landed on the Echo prayer app. It’s quick and easy to enter in someone’s name and condensed version of the request. I either do it in the moment – explaining to my loved one that I wanted to make sure to get this down and follow through or enter it as soon as a moment alone presents itself.
I immediately got better at praying for the needs of others in my life. But I quickly found my prayer life getting stale as I prayed for ongoing problems. How many times can I ask God to heal my friend with cancer? My family member’s marriage problems are dragging on and on as I pray for reconciliation. I began to feel like I was only checking things off the list instead of talking to my Heavenly Daddy. Until a couple of years ago when I started praying scripture over my daughter.
One day while spending time in God’s Word, I read a verse about temptation (peer pressure in teen speak) that I immediately turned into a prayer for my girl. I texted it to her as an encouragement. Then decided I should do that on a regular basis – giving her a running list of prayers and verses she could turn to in time of need. Every day I began to seek the Lord’s leading during my time with Him on what I should pray for her.
Praying God’s Word over Allie broadened the variety and depth of my prayer time and covered things I might never have thought to lift up to the Lord. So when my son went through an unthinkable tragedy that lead to an intense season of grief and change that continues today, I used this method of prayer and texting with him. And when a girlfriend had a tough surgery and recovery, I added her to the list. And when a neighbor lost her husband unexpectedly, God called me to do the same. And the list now goes on.
Somedays the scripture I pray over a loved one has nothing to do with his or her particular hardship. But praying God’s Word means I’m praying God’s will. It keeps my prayers for them from becoming rote. Sometimes I pray the exact same scripture over everyone on my list, or other times I pray something very specific and personal. But every prayer is alive and active (Hebrews 4:12).
If you would like some help with praying scripture over yourself or others, I highly recommend the Power of a Praying… books by Stormie Omartian. Or start using my method. With this post, I am kicking off a brand new series here on the blog called “Praying God’s Word Wednesdays”. Beginning Wednesday April 7th, I will list a Bible verse or passage and break down how I would create a prayer from it. You can use it as a springboard, or pray the prayer right off the screen.
I would love to have you come back here every Wednesday to pray with me. Or subscribe in the box on the right hand side of this page to make sure you don’t miss one. These posts will be short and, I hope, sweet. If you have any questions, please use the comment box below or send me a private email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Love all of you and praying for you on this Good Friday. And Happy, Happy Easter! He is Risen!
And now for this week’s featured post from the link-up!
Barbara Lee Harper from Stray Thoughts: A Home for the Stray Thoughts of an Ordinary Christian Woman hit on one of the most important issues in our culture right now with Disagreeing Like a Christian. I grieve the lack of grace I see exhibited between people in our cancel culture. Barbara said, “disagreeing on one point doesn’t mean we’re totally against everything the person says or stands for.” Amen and Amen. Click on the link to read the rest.
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