Stop Saying “I’ll Pray For You”

May 13, 2013 — 3 Comments

I’ll pray for you.

I think these are some of the most powerful words we can say to anyone. For me, when someone I know and look up to says those words, it comforts me. Not once have I walked away thinking anything but how awesome it is they would do that on my behalf. Not once have a ever thought they did not do it.

Until I got into ministry.

I’ll pray for you is something I always say. It’s not bad because I really do want to! But then I forget. Am I the only one? I doubt it. The students walk away feeling so much better because their pastor is going to be praying for them, but then what do we do when we forget? I feel bad thinking back at how many times I probably forgot to actually pray like I told them I would. Does make me a bad pastor? I hope not, just a forgetful one. I know my heart is right when I say it because I do want to.

Let me ask this…

What were to happen if we to just stop saying, “I’ll pray for you” and just right then and there pray for our students? I’m sure some do this, and I want to get there. I think actually praying for our students right then and there will do a few things:

  • It will show them you mean what you say.
  • It will show them you actually do want to pray for them and with them.
  • It makes them feel loved by their pastor or leader.
  • It helps them know you believe in the power of prayer.
  • They will do it more and more.
  • The other students who see you do this will know this is a safe place to be able to go to a leader and be prayed for.
  • And…. you will not forget to do it because you just did it.

This is one thing I feel I personally NEED to get better at. So while I am with students on the weekend or in my small group, you will see me praying with them right then and there when something comes up. I want them to know that that is okay.

I want your students to know that that is okay as well!

James 5:16

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.


3 responses to Stop Saying “I’ll Pray For You”


    I think you mean you “feel awful” not “awesome” thinking back to how many times you have said it but not done it. Yes?


    My college pastor did just this. I will never forget, and it was 20 yrs ago, the first time I saw him say, “l will pray for you” and then started praying right there.
    I hate to say it was sort of a shock. He didn’t just say he would pray. He did. It has colored my own ministry and how I react when people ask me to pray for them.
    Great Thoughts

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