How many times has a parishioner or visitor asked you to pray for them or someone they love? I bet you get prayer requests on a weekly, if not daily basis. What’s the most common response to a prayer request? “I’ll pray for you,” meaning, “At some point in the future, I’ll remember you in my prayers.” But what if you prayed for them right now, the moment you receive the prayer request? How would life be different if your response was, “Thanks for sharing your prayer request. Do you mind if we pray for them now?”
This is a powerful response. It shows how much value you place on prayer. It also shows the level of personal care and attention you have for the person making the request. Because let’s face it, we have all had those moments in which we have asked someone for prayer, and when they say, “I’ll pray for you,” part of you wonders – is it really going to happen? Immediately praying with the person making the request removes all of that doubt and communicates to him or her, “I think you and your prayer request are so important that I’m going to drop everything for a minute or two and pray with you.”
Your prayer does not need to be lengthy or flowery. It can be as simple as, “Lord, you know this person’s heart and how much he/she needs You right now. Please hear this prayer request and generously answer us. We love you. Amen.” That’s it! But said reverently and sincerely, a short, simple prayer can change a person’s life. Because if we are not praying for our fellow parishioners…what is the point of our ministry? Pray for them now and watch your ministry transform – as the personal side of what you are already doing with prayer digitally.