One can believe intellectually in the efficacy of prayer and never do any praying. ~ Catherine Marshall
Are you like me? I wonder how many times in my life I’ve said I’m praying for you or I’ll pray for you and never prayed at all? I meant to or I mean to but I didn’t or I don’t. Often, I’ve not even realized it until the moment when someone says Thank you for praying for me. My heart sinks as I start praying right then, remembering the promise broken.
Good intentions. I meant to pray (in the past), I intend to pray (now and in the future), but I get sidetracked by worry or problem solving or my own interests and distractions.
Maybe we’re a little glib with the prayer promise? It’s become the thing to say, but not necessarily the thing we do.
If I promise to watch your newborn while you are gone for a day, you would expect me to honor that promise by taking careful, tender care of him. You wouldn’t expect to drop him off in his carrier seat at 8, only to find I’d forgotten all about him until I saw you at 5.
Or let’s say, for some reason, you’re unable to reach the bank before closing time. You give me your paycheck and I say that I’ll go directly to the bank and put it in for you. You would know that your bills are covered because you would trust me to go straight on to the bank and make your deposit.
We take those types of thing seriously, don’t we? Babies and even money. But if you need me to go to God on your behalf and I say that, indeed I will, is it money in the bank? Can you count on it?
Prayer is a promise and a practice.
It’s not just a fall back line or a spiritual way to end a conversation. If I say I’ll pray for you, you should be as confident that I’ll be doing it as you are that I will take careful care for your precious baby or deposit your paycheck.
I used to say I’ll pray for you all the time. I don’t say it as much now. I pray more and promise less. That way, when I say it, you can count on it.