A few years ago I made a pact (sort of) with a few friends that we would STOP using the phrase “I’ll pray for you.” The reason we agreed to this was because we noticed how easy it is to SAY it, but never DO it. (especially in the South) Instead of saying “I’ll pray for you,” we began saying “I prayed for you.” We figured using the phrase in the past tense would keep us honest. And it did. We stopped talking about prayer and started doing it. Every now and then one of us would tell the other “I prayed for you today, how is _____ going?” And THAT was refreshing because it meant we were actually praying for each other instead of just talking about it.
In our culture, the phrase “I’ll pray for you” has become less of a true statement and more of an expression of concern. We don’t actually pray, we just say that because it comforts others. Yes, it is a nice thing to say…and if we are actually praying, then…SCORE!
However, my suspicion is that most of us don’t pray nearly as much as we TALK ABOUT praying. And with all the tragedy unfolding in our country, it’s more important now than ever to ACTUALLY pray!
For example, in the wake of today’s tragedy in Las Vegas, I wonder how many young church leaders woke up at 7am, read the news, and immediately began scrambling for free images of the Mandalay Bay Hotel or a city view of Las Vegas so they could create a graphic that said “Pray for Vegas.” And I wonder how many of those people spent more than 30 minutes creating a graphic, posted it on all of their social accounts, but never actually prayed? Additionally, I wonder how many of their followers have SHARED their graphic online, but have not actually prayed?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I see the benefit of the graphic. And I see the benefit of sharing it.
What’s the purpose of saying you will pray, making a graphic about praying, sharing a graphic about praying, and then just eating breakfast?
What if we, the church, ACTUALLY prayed?
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
I prayed for vegas today.