Praying for and praying with

Have you ever asked someone to pray for you or someone you care about?  Has anyone ever asked you to pray?  Have you ever asked a pastor to pray?  If you’re being honest, you would admit that you hope the pastor does a better job of praying for your request than you do in praying for the requests of others.

As a pastor, I don’t know if you can imagine how many people ask me to pray.  If I see someone out somewhere, it is not uncommon for them to tell me of a concern and ask me to pray.  In the kitchen last week at the Wednesday night community dinner someone asked me to pray.  This morning I cannot remember what they asked me to pray about.  And that’s what happens, doesn’t it?  Or is it just me?

Before you condemn me, you should know that in that moment (much to the person’s surprise) I said, “Let me pray for that right now”.  So I grabbed the person and started praying.  Adam, my son, was in the kitchen with us and grabbed the person’s shoulder and bowed as well.

It’s not just the difference in praying  for and praying with someone, but sometimes it’s the difference between praying and not praying.  Five minutes after the fact, three things have happened and the request has left my mind.

I write today’s blog to encourage you to pray with people in the moment.  If you’ve never prayed out loud before with someone else, it will be awkward at first.  You will worry about not knowing what to say or saying something stupid.  But I can tell you that the person will not remember what you prayed, but will only remember that you prayed with them.

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