Once in a while when tragedy or some unexpected event happens in my life, someone offers to send good vibes my way. I need to be blunt and honest. I don’t know what that is supposed to mean or do for me. I guess I just don’t believe in sending vibes.
My question for you is: are your prayers just good vibes in disguise? Do your prayers matter?
I say this because to a person of no faith, is there any difference between vibes and prayers? There’s been a lot of talk recently with the tragedy in Orlando that praying is not enough. People want more than prayers. They want action.
I believe in the power of prayer, that God listens, that prayer changes things, and we need to pray. I also believe that perhaps we aren’t praying correctly, we take too little action, and words can sound meaningless when we tell someone “I’ll pray for you.”
Here are 5 things I would suggest to make your prayer efforts more effective:
Too often we tell people, “I’ll pray for you,” but don’t do anything. Prayer is a powerful weapon but just saying you are going to pray and not actually praying doesn’t do anything. Two easy solutions: when you tell someone you are going to pray for them, do it right then. Secondly, make a list of people and requests you are praying for. Go back to that list and pray for the people by name.
Pray with people and not just for them.
If you are talking with someone and want to offer prayer in response to something ask if you can pray with them instead of just offering prayer at a later non-specific time. It’s encouraging to practicing Christians, and perhaps even eye-opening to non-Christians. It’s comforting to have someone actually pray with you.
This might sound like a truly foreign experience to you, but that’s okay. Do it. It’s really not as hard or as intimidating as it sounds. The best prayers are honest and from your heart. They don’t have to be perfect.
Explain to people sometimes what you mean when you say I’ll pray for you.
Consider the difference in these two conversations:
“I’ll pray for you” versus “I keep a list of people and things I am praying for in my notes. Each night I’ll take a couple of minutes to pray for those people by name to Jesus in my prayer time. I believe praying for a person by name is important. I’ll add you to my list.”
Follow up your prayer with action.
Send a follow up note. Make a meal for a family you know is struggling. Praying in response to a tragedy? Find a local group that is doing something to help victims and families and make a donation. Do something. When we put actions behind our prayers people understand that we aren’t just sending good vibes.
— Andy Lesnefsky (@RedeemedOnline) June 15, 2016
Let prayer change you.
When you pray, continue to ask God to teach you to pray. Ask him to change your heart in prayer to be more like his. Prayer isn’t about us. It’s about a living encounter with Jesus. Be consistent in praying and be honest with God.
Have confidence in prayer. It is the unfailing power which God has given us. ‘Ask and you shall receive,’ Our Lord said. Be yourself with the good Lord.” –Saint Peter Julian Eymard
Any prayers tip you would like to share?