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The Personal Responsibility of a Prayer Request

“I’m praying for you.” How many times have you heard that? Quite a lot I bet. But more importantly, how many times have YOU said it to someone who asked you to pray for them or to someone who informed you of another’s unfortunate circumstances.

One of the most common phrases I hear among Christians is that very phrase, “I’m praying for you”. But if I had a penny for every time a person made that statement and never followed through with the action implied, I would be a multi, multi, multi, MULTI millionaire. The sincerity of their statement is often contrast to the personal purpose of their proclamation.

You see, the unfortunate reality is that many individuals do not pray for you when they make such a statement as “I’m praying for you”. Now a lot do, but many choose not to. Why? Some honestly forget. Others are selfishly motivated to care of the needs of self rather than the needs of others. Some feel it’s a waste of time. Some just use the phrase as a greeting, farewell, and simply a form of conversation. But there are those who sometimes pray out of obligation when they pray publicly for you. Call a prayer request, and they’re obligated to call the name of the individual or circumstance the request is referring to because of their obligation. It’s easy to keep in public, but often forsaken in private.

A friend of mine shared this statement with me a few years ago, and I’ve found it to ring true in the lives of many believers. He said: “I believe that one of the worst things you and I can do is tell someone you are praying for them when you aren’t, tell someone you have prayed for them when you haven’t, and not pray for them when they ask you to.”

For us to activate prayer requires a purpose, and the power of that purpose often depends on the sincerity of our heart. To pray for someone is to care for them. To pray for someone means to say, “I came before the Lord and called out your name”. To pray for someone is to say “I’m thinking of you, and I believe God’s intervention can assist you in your circumstance”.

Today, let me encourage you to test the sincerity of your heart when listening to a prayer request. Ask yourself, “Am I going to pray for this person?” You should, primarily because it is the responsibility of the believer to pray for those afflicted. I’m not saying that you will remember every detail and every name, but the act of humbling ourselves before the Lord on their behalf proves to be both powerful and beneficial when reflecting on God’s omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence.

Friend, if we believe prayer can move a mountain if we only have faith, then we ought to be praying for the dear brothers and sisters who ask us to pray for them. Although it seems like a small practice, it’s produces a profound result.

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