This is Andy Thomas from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we discover what it means to be a wholehearted man. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds.
Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. So, today on Encouraging Prayer, we're going to talk about how to pray and mean it. Now, you may be wondering, what does that mean? Well, have you ever told someone that you were going to pray for them and then forgot about it later? You know, I think we've all had that experience. Sometimes it's when someone says, you're in my thoughts and prayers. And I think the reason they say that is they wonder if it's really sincere because it's so easy to say, but sometimes, you know, so much harder to do.
Yeah, that's right. That's one of the reasons why I love, you know, when someone says, you know, I've got this need in my life. If you just right in the moment say, could we pray about that right now?
Just drop everything and pray spontaneously. And that way you don't forget to do it later. But, you know, we don't want to be critical of people saying you're in my thoughts and prayers because we need all the prayer we can get. And when someone says that, they mean well, we mean well, but then the question becomes, how is our follow up?
Yeah, so let's talk about that. How do we follow up, you know, when we found out about a need? Well, one of the things I like to do is just write it down. I'm a list guy, and the reason I like lists is that they help me stay focused. It's one thing to say you're praying for someone. It's another to tell them that they're on your daily list, you know, in a good way, right? You're on my list. And it's still another to be able to pull out that list and show them their name on it, not as a way of saying, ooh, aren't I spiritual, you know, but as a way of backing up that you really do mean it, that you really are praying.
And I think that's a good witness. Yeah, but isn't that also the danger of a list? I mean, that you can rush through it too fast without really thinking about it, you know, or what you're saying or really even who you're praying for. Yeah, some people kind of shy away from lists for that reason.
That can happen if we're not really dialed in, so it takes focus. But I find that having a list actually helps me focus. I may, you know, pray it at different speeds or on different days, but sometimes you can really slow down and just think about each need, think about each person, concentrate, and pray, you know, for whatever is going on in their lives. Yeah, that's really awesome. And I found another thing that helps is to check in with the person I'm praying for and get an update, right?
I mean, it might just be a text message or a quick call, but, you know, that can help you know how to pray for specifics in their situation. It also helps, you know, keep it fresh in your mind. Yeah, yeah, that's a great suggestion.
And another thing you can do is write yourself a note, like a post-it, and put it somewhere so that you'll be reminded to do it. Or, you know, you might put it on the dashboard of your car, on your refrigerator, on your desk at work with just a name or just the need, just to prompt you, you know? Yeah, I like pictures for that as well. And, you know, sometimes I think about looking at someone's picture that helps me really think about them and what they might be going through. As a matter of fact, I often put those notes on my phone, you know, I got a little notes thing on my phone, and there you can connect the picture with a note. Yeah, I like that. There are so many ways you can do this. How about, you know, inviting that person over to dinner and saying, one of the things I want to do when you're here or when we go out, whatever, you know, is spend a few minutes just praying for you and your situation, and then be intentional about it. Yeah, that's good.
You know, a lot of this just comes down to setting aside time, right? And here's one. How about if someone is praying for a prodigal or one of their children partnering with them to pray through a book like Prayers for Prodigals, or another book James wrote, by the way, shameless plug. Prayers for your children. I really like that suggestion, Robbie.
I thought you might, yeah. But honestly, following up like that is important, and one of the reasons why it is is that, you know, we're praying for others. While we're praying for others, we might find that God brings them things to mind for them that really may help them. I mean, it may be something we can do for them or a course of action that really would make a difference.
Yeah, absolutely. And that's why we need to make prayer a first resort instead of a last, because we're welcoming God into the situation. We're seeking his wisdom, his power, and that's another thing we can do. Ask God to help us pray, to show us how to pray for someone.
And that's such a simple step. I think sometimes we forget it. But he'll lead us in creative ways and bring things to mind that we never thought about. Yeah, I was just thinking about the difference this can make for someone, because we've probably all had those moments where we practically feel that someone was praying for us, right? And there's a closeness with God in that, you know, between us and them, and really when they're tuned in.
Yeah, yeah. I love that. I mean, there really is—this deepens our relationship with God and with those that we're praying for, because when you're praying for someone well, you're loving them well. And just think about those moments when someone was praying for you and you did know it. You knew you could count on them for it.
That's gold. I mean, I think of times when our son was in rehab or court, and we were going through this tough time, and it was just all we could do to get through the day. And there would be a few people around us, kind of like David's mighty men, you know, who we knew were going for the mat for us. I mean, they were really, really praying.
And I think about another time we went through with our daughter, and it was the same sort of situation. We knew they were praying. And man, you've got to love them for it. You know, this is holy ground.
And by the way, that brings up another great approach, and that's fasting. Yeah, that's really cool. I mean, let's talk about that some more. Well, it means a lot of you have this deep need in your life. You know, again, something like a court date. If someone says to you, I blocked out Monday lunch to fast and pray for you about that.
I mean, what a gift, you know? And then if they say, tell me what to pray for, you're going to be all in because you're so grateful that they're doing that. Or another approach might be, could we fast and pray together? And, you know, you can agree on a time like, hey, Thursday afternoon at lunch, and make it easier, you know, make it a juice fast, and again, for just a meal.
But then follow up with them later and see what God gives you, because often he gives you clarity in a situation, and something good will break loose as a result. Yeah, I like that. I mean, that's been a really good conversation, James. And I think it will help a lot of people, because again, this is just about being sincere about saying it and meaning it or praying it. You know, so James, let's go ahead and wrap this up with taking a moment ourselves to pray that we can do these things. You know, I'll start and you finish. So, Jesus, thank you for this reminder and for opportunities to connect with you and connect with you with other people.
What a delight that would be. Lord, help us to use this and connect with you and our friends. And Father, thank you that we can.
Thank you for this opportunity, and we look forward to seeing you in it. Bless us. Just show us, Lord, how to pray in Jesus' name. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website, jamesbanks.org, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-23 21:28:39 / 2022-12-23 21:32:35 / 4