Friday, 01 August 2014 13:15

“I’ll Pray For You”

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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Four simple words.  Powerful.  A promise.

 

I’ll.

 

Pray.

 

For.

 

You.

 

A piece in Converge magazine starts out by saying:

 

“I’ll pray for you.”

 

Four powerful, simple words, yet each time you speak them, you know that there’s a good chance you won’t put them into action.

 

The indictment continues:

 

...We use journals, spending hours writing and rewriting prayers.  We use Post-it notes until our desks are covered.  We create prayer lists, prayer chains, and still, there’s a 99 percent chance we’ll forget to actually pray.  

 

The piece introduces the Echo prayer app.  Its website, EchoPrayer.com, gives some history. In 2006, Ben Rugg began to develop a prayer reminder service online to help him and his small group keep track of their prayer requests and remind them to pray for each other throughout the week. After working solely on this web-based service for three months, he launched Echo Prayer, which has grown to nearly 20,000 users around the world.

 

Rugg and Jim Elliston then co-founded Clover, which makes websites and provides donation tools for ministries and non-profit organizations.  They wanted to develop a more modern version of Echo Prayer, and eight years later, they did.

 

Now, the Echo phone app is available.  Its website states: Echo’s number one goal is to help people pray.

 

 

Whether it be to simply keep track of prayer requests, give space to engage with God, or simply help remind people to pray... Echo is a tool to help Christ-followers engage with God.

 

I think there are some important considerations for us here.  First of all, people ask us to pray for them all the time, and we have to ask ourselves, do we actually pray when asked to?  Do we make that promise to pray, but then fail to follow through? That is quite the integrity issue, isn’t it?

 

The Bible encourages us to be in prayer for one another.  James 5:16 contains an encouraging directive which illustrates how we, as Christians, can be involved in interacting with our fellow believers:

 

 

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.(NKJV)

 

 

We have to make sure we are engaged with prayer for one another, and to seek to be faithful when people share their needs with us.  To remind us, we can rely on the prompting of the Holy Spirit as he places the needs of people on our hearts.  There are all sorts of reminder tools that we have available to us.  Perhaps a prayer journal, list, or notebook can help us to keep track and to stay on track.  The Echo app sounds like an intriguing electronic tool.  It’s important that we find the most effective way or ways for each of us to stay connected and keep our promise to pray.

 

And, in our follow through, as someone voices his or her request for prayer to us, perhaps we can pray for someone at that moment, to pray for them on the spot.  That may be a step or two - or ten - outside your comfort zone, but if you’re involved in a personal conversation, taking a pause to petition Almighty God can be effective, and will activate the power of agreement.  Jesus talked about two or more coming together to pray.  One person praying for another is certainly a powerful demonstration of united prayer for someone else.

 

I think it’s also helpful for us to evaluate how seriously we believe in the power of prayer.  Seriously.  If we serve the God of the universe - and we do - and believe that He has infinite power, and desires to respond to our requests, then we can be confident when we go to Him.  We have to train ourselves to make prayer our first and preeminent option, rather than just one of many options or an afterthought - a last resort, if you will.   He invites us to earnestly come before His throne of grace to find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

 

God will unite the hearts of His people as we join together in prayer for each other.  We have the amazing opportunity to be participants in the glorious work of prayer, to see God do great and mighty things in our midst as we seek His face.  Our God has made Himself available to us - because He loves us; so that He can display His glory through us in response to our petitions.  He takes our prayers seriously.  With a sense of reverence and awe, we can take Him at His Word and bring our requests to Him - not just for ourselves, but for others, including those who have personally asked us to pray for them.

 

 

Last modified on Sunday, 03 August 2014 13:16
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