I need Prayer…”

How often has someone told us their story? Usually we attach a story to something we need or are going through or are about to go through… “our story”, “their story”, “my friend’s story”… and in these private, even urgent expressions of life there comes a promise from the listener.

The Promise – “I will Pray for You

We make that promise to pray. We all do it – some always do it and some are careful with this promise. Sadly, very few seem to take the promise with any relevance of personal integrity. After offering a sympathetic ear we will end the conversations by saying the promise, “I will be praying for you.” Boom! There it is! In all of the disingenuous care of our self-centered world we Promise to Pray knowing full well we NEVER will. It is the Christian response. Kind of like saying, “Good Luck”. We promise to pray, but it does not happen. “I’m praying for you, brother”, as we walk away with the beginning smell of pants on fire. 

Prayer is not the Issue – Integrity is.

Do you believe in prayer? There are many amazing books written on prayer as well as many scriptures in the Bible guiding us to pray daily. Jesus certainly was known for His prayers. As was David, Paul and others. Prayer? What is it good for? Why bother? Well, if you are reading this, I gather you already have many answers about the validity of prayer and the power of prayer, so I’m not going to expound the value of prayer. However, I will challenge the integrity of your promise to pray.

What am I promising when I say, “I’ll pray for you?”

  1. I believe in the power of prayer.
  2. I believe I can talk to God and intercede on your behalf.
  3. Because I care and love and want to join your cause, I will pray.
  4. I am saying I believe the Word of God has an answer for your life.
  5. I believe in the power of agreement.
  6. I believe God will listen.
  7. I believe the effectual fervent prayer accomplishes much.
  8. I am willing to carry your burden, you are not alone.

What happens when we do not keep our promise to pray for someone?

  1. Our personal faith in scripture is diminished.
  2. Our closeness with the Holy Spirit is harmed.
  3. Cynicism grows in our personal life.
  4. Our reliance on prayer personally is diminished.
  5. We tend towards self-reliance and not joining others for sharing life’s burdens.
  6. The enemy rejoices as yet another battle does not get an intercessor.

Integrity in Prayer

To be cavalier with the promise to pray and never following through is a big, Big, BIG deal. It is not a “white lie”. It may indeed be the greatest lie of sin a believer ever makes and yet we are guilty of it over and over without the merest thought. 

“Yes, I believe in prayer, I just never do it for others.”

If we could see Prayer

I’ve often wondered what it would look like if we could see the accomplishments of our prayers. If we could see our intercession being spiritually networked with other prayers across the world, what would it look like?  I’d love to see how my prayers would speed off as light and love filled energy mingling, joining, growing in strength and solidifying its power along God’s delivery system. Busting through into the natural realm for another person. In social media terms, would the need for my friend whom I am praying reach ten thousand “likes” and gain a phenomenal support status?  

Some spiritually cynical folks will say prayer doesn’t change much if anything, but it will change you. Certainly, this is a full on half truth. Prayer does change us when we have integrity with our prayer promise. I for one believe prayer does work. That prayer opens hearts, doors, minds, pathways and delivers miracles. Prayer brings healing. My opinion on this is not just agreement with scripture; I have a lifetime of experience in seeing prayers answered. I wake up everyday conversing with God and asking if He will allow me to deliver someone’s answer to prayer.

In a conversation I was having with a young lady who led ministry outreach at a local university, I shared this insight. “Everyday you step on that campus you are fulfilling the prayers of thousands of families. There are moms, dads, grandparents, uncles, aunts, siblings, friends and intercessor groups praying for the lives of those students. They cry out to God for their lives to not be lost by all university life can rob from students. You are their answered prayer. As you wear your full armor of God know there are thousands of prayers that have gone on before you and are pushing you forward.” 

Next time you hear someone’s story that expresses a need, Promise to Pray with integrity. What you do in secret God will reward you openly. 

Prayer Tip 

Use your alarm on you phone to remind you to STOP and pray for those on your prayer list. And when it goes off – PRAY. I’ve been in meetings with people and had the alarm go off and simply told them what it was and took a minute to pray. Yes, even pastors are shocked by this. What do we call an alarm? Oh yes, “A Wake Up Call.” 

Article written by Rev. Mark Lucks