How many times have you said to an associate, “I’ll be praying for you,” and went on your way without really doing it? If you’re like me, more than you’d like to admit. But our prayers are an invaluable gift to the people we work with. So as leaders, let’s not just say we’ll pray. Let’s do it now.

When I was 26, my mom passed away. She was in her early 50s, and – like every untimely death – it hit people hard. Our mailbox bulged with cards from extended family and friends. Almost everyone said they were praying for us, and I could tell they were. But there was nothing quite like the prayers I experienced in person. I was the only employee in our ministry back then, and my closest associates were volunteer “shift leaders.” A few of them became Rocks of Gibraltar for me through my mother’s illness and death. As we talked together, their prayers soothed and strengthened my grieving spirit.

As much as we all value prayer, there can be a reluctance to pray for someone in the moment.

Why We Don’t Pray In the Moment

1. We don’t want to intrude or put the other person on the spot.

2. We’re not sure what to pray, especially if it’s a particularly difficult situation.

3. We don’t want to appear super spiritual.

4. We don’t want to stir up the person’s emotions, or ours.

5. We’re a little shy about putting our prayers out there.

While some of these may be legitimate and we do want to be led by the Spirit when we pray – prayer is simply talking to God. And talking to God on behalf of someone else is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

Ways to Pray It Now

1. In person. Whenever possible and appropriate, instead of ending conversations with, “I’ll be praying for you,” say, “Do you have a minute right now that I can pray with you?” Most people will say yes, and you can easily shift the conversation and direct it toward God.

2. In an email. Let’s say an associate sends you an email with an update about a personal concern he’s shared with you. In your response, take a moment to include a simple prayer for him: “Father, give Glenn wisdom and the reassurance that You’re with him.” Write a longer prayer if you’re led.

3. In a text. Even in the brevity of a text you can write a phrase of prayer for a person who’s just texted you about a challenge they’re facing.   

4. In a card. It’s easy to close our correspondence with words like, “Loving and praying for you.” It’s a bit harder to tune into God’s heart and handwrite a brief prayer. But it’s worth it.

Praying in the moment doesn’t mean you won’t be led to pray later. But it’s an opportunity to lift a brother or sister to the Lord where their spirit can hear from God’s. Because of who God is, praying for someone in person is one of the most powerful things you can do for them. Let’s push our reluctance aside and go for it!

“Because of who God is, praying for someone in person is one of the most powerful things you can do for them. Go for it!”

- Lisa Hosler

In the Comment Section below, share about a time you’ve given or received prayer in the moment.

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