It’s come to my attention that some people take offense to the statement: “I’ll pray for you.” I remember just a few months ago, reading a long list of Facebook comments on someone’s status that bashed people who say they will “pray for you.”
The status was a single mom expressing frustration over feeling like she’d been judged because upon telling someone, whom I assume is a Christian, that she has two boys and is unmarried and trying to provide, the woman told her she would pray for her. She’d been highly offended and took to Facebook to defend herself that she loves her life, loves her boys, and is happier on her own, and a slew of her online friends rushed to her defense calling the woman who’d offered prayer ignorant, pompous, and a few other words I’ll choose not to put in writing. They talked about how judgmental the statement was and how she should have laid her out (I’m not sure if that means punched or given a piece of her mind). It was awful and heart-wrenching for me to read.
Now, I don’t claim to know the other woman’s heart or even the context in which it was said, but I had to offer my own sentiment on the subject because it became radically apparent to me that prayer, to the outside secular world, is obviously not what it really is.
A few months or more have passed since, but I’ll do my best to summarize my point: being offered prayer isn’t bad, even if you’re not a believer. See, even if you don’t believe in God, the person offering prayer obviously does. And God is probably pretty important to them, as a Savior and Friend. And if they’re offering to include well-wishes and positive requests on your behalf in their conversational time with Him, how is that a bad thing? Prayer is not condescending. Prayer is important. It’s the lifeblood of a Christian’s walk with their God and they’re offering to send up a good word for you. They want their God to help you. Whether or not you think God is real, it’s the thought that counts right?
I believe heavily in the power of prayer. Prayer is a real and big thing. Within my group of girl friends in Christ, we constantly are reaching out to each other requesting and offering prayer and praying with or for each other.
Last year, when I was undergoing some severe persecution and I was under attack from someone I’d been trying to help, I reached out to a network of people who prayed for me. And the truth was revealed and it reminded me that Jesus was and is my Prince of Peace and I need not be afraid of what a man or woman might say about me.
This past winter, we received a text from a friend out of state who was worried that her cousin may be seeking an abortion that next day. Scores of people prayed and the Lord heard us – circumstances came together that stopped her from going to the clinic.
I heard a pastor once preach that, before he was saved, he was gay and a drug addict and wound up in prison. He accepted Christ while in jail, but once he was released and went back to his parents house, there were yellow ribbons everywhere – one for each person who’d been praying for him over the years that he was lost and addicted. I remember him saying how overwhelmed he was by the love he felt from people he never knew, just by that visual of how many people had been praying for him to pull through.
Then today, I read this, also on Facebook, that just reminded me of the whole thing:
“There’s no greater humanly love that I know than that of people praying for each other and praying with each other.” -J.P.
To me, in my own personal opinion, there is just something about knowing there are people praying for me that helps me. It reminds me that God is listening, He’s concerned with what concerns me, and He has surrounded me with people who give a crap. These people care enough to stop what they’re doing and ask Him to help me when I’m feeling so overwhelmed by life that I need help asking. Something about it just lifts me up enough to hear Him speak life and truth into the darkness of whatever it is I’m going through. And I do believe He uses people praying for us to bring us some of His comfort and peace…
….because that prayer is not driven by judgment or obligation, but by love. Those people have enough love in their hearts to pray for me in whatever state or need I am in. They have received the love of God through His Son Jesus Christ and they are willing to then share it with me. That’s a big deal.
So I’m not saying that everyone does it right, or that everyone who claims to know the Lord really does, or everyone who claims to pray for someone really does… but what I’m saying is that an offer of prayer should not be something that anyone takes offense to, even non-believers, but especially believers. We should never be offended by someone willing to pray for us because prayer changes lives. We pray with hope and believing that whatever we ask for in Jesus’ name will be ours and if we’re calling upon that power for you or someone you know, rest assured that it’s not because we think less of you. We think highly of you, and we love you. And that’s why we pray.