I will pray for you

People sometimes say ‘I will pray for you’ , ‘prayers’ or something similar. Speaking from my own experience, it is well meant but not always followed through. Maybe sometimes it is said in embarrassment as in ‘Oh no- I don’t know what to say, this is uncomfortable: better say something’.

Most annoying is when it is said glibly as just more Christian saccharine traffic from someone who does not want to share the pain.

‘I will pray for you’

Must never be uttered glibly by those reclining on their couches,

But by those

Bruised and bloody from the fight,

Or those whose Hope has nearly gone

From the struggle,

Perhaps even those

Who have stopped using words,

But never with a smile,

As a honeyed platitude,

From behind a mask.

3 thoughts on “I will pray for you”

  1. I feel quite strongly about this, for a number of reasons. Firstly I agree with you. So, I make a habit if trying not to pray for anyone unless I am willing to be the answer to that prayer. Makes prayer time shorter and also reminds me to check up on the person to ask how things are a few days later. Maybe God wants me to “pray” for them with actions, not just words?

    The second thing is I have massive theological issues over whether prayer actually works, based on the nature of God. It works in the sense that it makes me feel better about something over which I probably have no control, but not sure my prayers make any difference to anyone else, apart from a slight warm feeling from the knowledge that someone cares (maybe that’s enough?). But, I reckon for God to be God then he can’t be linear or constrained by time. If God is not linear then the whole of existence is happening all at once for Him, so I’m deluding myself if I think that things happen linearly with prayer:
    1. Something bad happens
    2. I pray
    3. As a result God makes something good happen

    Is not possible to express in words how it must actually seem to God, and so my theological theory breaks down, but perhaps He whispers “Don’t worry, it all turns out OK, I can see the beginning and the end and you don’t have to be afraid as I hold everything in between”(he sounds like Liam Neeson, in case you were wondering).

    Or is it all just wishful thinking.

    Won’t know if you respond unless you tweet me @sdawlatly

  2. Slightly different from your point is when on your way to church a family member of a friend tells you to pray for them.

    Unfortunately, some preachers don’t give opportunity for the congregation to pray on their own. Everything is said by them. Back from church, and the family member ask did you pray for me ? Oops!

  3. Tricky Samir….. we need to go on and island together and tease this one out with likeminded people…..oh we are…

    Kobina- thanks for the comment. As a leader I am aware that I make this mistake.

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