9 God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.Romans 1: 9-10
This may come as a major shock, so fasten your seatbelts. The one surprising thing you should do if you tell people you will pray for them:
You should actually pray for them.
Now look, I’m not trying to be preachy here, because I do the exact opposite all the time. I talk to someone going through a hard time, and I symaptheitcally tell the person, “I’ll pray for you.” And then it slips my mind like so many other things. Sometimes I try to hack the system. Right after talking to the person, I’ll walk away and quickly send a thought to God, “Please be with Bob. Amen.”
But is that really what I meant when I told “Bob” I would pray for him? NO! What I meant was, I will, on your behalf, ask the creator of the universe, the giver of all good things, to unleash his forces for your sake. I meant that I will activate the power of the Holy Spirit and pray in the name of Jesus Christ that God would actually give Bob whatever he needs.
I didn’t tell Bob I’d pray for him to make Bob feel better in the moment; I told him I’d pray for him because I meant it, and I fully intended to make a difference in his life.
Look at how Paul describes those whom he’s praying for. He remembers them constantly in his prayers. Will you commit to constantly remembering someone if you tell them you’ll pray for them? I have trouble remembering most of the time. I highly recommend a prayer journal if you struggle with this too. One really cool thing about a prayer journal is that you can look back over your prayers. As you call down the power of the creator of the universe, be sure to record how he’s answering your prayers. It’s really encouraging, especially in the times when we’re attracted by the lie that God doesn’t really answer prayers.