February 10, 2012

empty {prayer} promises

Putting down my pen, I scanned the note I had just written and inwardly said, Lord, there is so much hurt... how do I help?

I signed my name after the phrase, Keeping you in my prayers, and was gently reminded... 

That, my child, is how you can help.

I vividly remember the fog that surrounded me after Grant's diagnosis. As loving friends, family, and church members approached me, they often told me they would pray for Grant and my family. Each time I heard them reference the promise to pray I fought the urge to grab the person's hand, squeeze it with all my might, and cry out, Do you really promise? Will you really pray for us? Do you truly mean what you just said?!?

Sadly, I had created the cynicism I felt out of my own hollow words. Many times I had made a promise to pray for a person in need. Only, many times, I had not sincerely followed through. Oh the shame and guilt I have for those empty words I spoke!

Over the past twelve months I have witnessed the power of prayer to a heightened degree. It is real. I know those loving people truly have prayed and continue to pray for us. I am so thankful.

I now carry with me a ring of index cards (affectionately named "Molly Rings" after a wonderful, godly woman in my church). My goal is to immediately write down the prayer request I pledge to pray... and carry through.

If I truly believe what the Bible says about prayer, I need to make it a high priority - now.

1 Timothy 2:1-6

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

James 5:13-18

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. 



  1. What a wonderful idea to follow through with prayer, I like this! Alot of times when I pray I just release all cares unto Him and believe that whatever He had me pray at that time, that is was done. God has gifted you with writing and I so enjoy reading. Blessings, Rana

  2. A friend of mine made a similar suggestion to me a few years ago. Except, she suggested I take the index cards with me while I am going for a walk. That way I am getting two important things done at once; praying for others and exercise. Just thought I would share the suggestion with you all.

  3. A friend suggested that I read your blog. It was a very good suggestion! It is easy to make the empty promise of prayer, but when prayer is needed that little promise feels like water in the desert. My husband is currently unemployed, and many people have promised prayers. I hope they all pray for us. Know that I will pray for your family in the next few minutes, that God will bring peace and happiness to your family. I will also be using your prayer idea. Mostly so my busy memory doesn't forget to pray for those I have promised.

  4. I, too, wanted a physical way to see my promised prayers. I printed out a beautiful verse on some pretty paper, framed it and use a dry erase marker to put my prayer reminders on the picture frame glass. I keep it right on my desk at work and add to it as often as I need to. It has really helped strengthen my prayer time throughout the day.

  5. I love the idea of Molly Cards! Thank you for sharing a way to help us keep our good intentions!

  6. Rana: Thank you for your kind words, friend! It is a good practice to release our cares to Him. I often wake at night and wonder if God wants me to be praying for someone.

    "Anonymous": That is a great idea! Thank you for sharing that with me! A friend of mine from college used to get so frustrated waiting at red lights while commuting to work that she decided to put an index card of prayer requests in her car and would pray while she was sitting at red lights. Now, not only is she no longer annoyed about wasting time, she is making good use of her time and praying for others. How cool is that?!

    Teresa: I am honored you stopped by. I am so sorry about your husband's job loss. That is very difficult. I loved what you said, "...when prayer is needed that little promise feels like water in the desert." So true! I have already written you on a "Molly card" :) - please keep me posted.

    Marshall and Wanda: I love that! I am enjoying hearing how others remind themselves to pray for others. Not only are they creative, but they also mean people are praying!! Thank you for sharing!

    Jessica: Thank you! I hope you and your son are doing well!


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