I'm trying to be deliberate in praying for others. I think about praying about others. I promise I'll pray for them and really mean to, but sometimes I feel like my own prayer life gets so bogged down with stuff that I don't always remember.
I don't always know why, but it's easier to pray for others when you are not sitting in parking lots waiting for pick up at schools focused on my own "Stuff." That's a great time to pray for my family, our needs, but, for some reason, not such a great time to pray for my friends and neighbors.
Oh sure, I can rattle off a prayer for a peaceful day, for my "to do list" to get down, for the safety of my children and the current state of our nation. However, to think about "others" needs and to place their needs before the throne takes more concentration.
Lately, I've decided to just pray on the spot. When someone asks me to pray for them, I just do then. Right then. On the phone, in the hallway at school, wherever we are right then.
The other day a friend called to tell me a heartbreaking story about a family whose child had died at birth. My friend had just lost her own baby the same way three months prior. She was boldly going to the hospital to offer them hope, comfort and knowledge. What a brave and courageous move to walk right back into the same environment where she had experienced deep loss.
Rather than say I'll pray for you as you go; I did it then on the phone. I prayed and offered up my concern and love for my friend. I took it to God right away rather than make a promise to do it later. Yes I did pray that entire night whenever my thoughts turned to the situation (which it did a lot).
Today, the same opportunity presented itself to pray for a friend going through a health scare. I prayed out loud for my friend on the phone again. Why, because I knew my next few hours would be hectic with Girl Scouts and family responsibilities filling my day. I didn't want to forget and I wanted my friend to know that I was praying for her.
I don't say this to toot my own horn or to say I will always be so bold. It's just that I want to remember how impacting this move has been on my own life. It felt powerful to just stop, drop, and pray. To just take it to God right away.
It's also encouraged me to pray more for that person throughout my day. It's freed me up to just pray for others.
I've never been afraid to pray in a group, to pray at a restaurant with my family, but I've not always been so bold as to just pray with the person in need at the time the need was brought to me. Why? Because of my fear.
Amazingly just doing it this week has made me feel bolder, stronger, and more encouraged to not just promise to pray but to do it. Whenever. Wherever.
Maybe that will become my 2009 slogan: Stop. Drop. Pray. I'm thinking it could save as many lives from harm as the fire safety motto I've repeated time and again to my children.