by Letitia Suk @LetitiaSuk
I recently engaged a community group in a conversation about prayer. I asked them how they felt about people saying, “I will pray for you.” Each one, even the ones who called themselves non-believers, remarked that they felt cared for and supported and appreciated the gesture.
I wish they could meet my mother. She would put them all on her list.
If you have ever spent any time with my mom, she probably told you she would pray for you. She immediately gets on first name basis with most everyone she encounters: the guy pushing her wheelchair through the airport, the wait staff in any restaurant, and individuals sitting next to her in public settings. She manages to get the highlights of their story and ends each conversation with “I will pray for you.” And she does.
It’s not just a one-time deal, either. Once my mom starts praying for someone, they go into her permanent record. She once told me how worried she was about her cable guy’s girlfriend’s family and had put them on her prayer list. I’m sure they are still there. Each night the list gets covered before she goes to bed. She does admit it takes a long time to get through everyone!
Perhaps some of these folks might not welcome being prayed for, but I’m sure she would just pray harder for them if she knew.
When we’re out together, she usually commits me to the effort as well. “We’ll pray for you,” even though I haven’t been a part of the conversation. Sometimes she adds, “We’re good pray-ers.” That always seems a funny thing to say, but I guess it is like a personal endorsement. So, I pray too once I get proxied in but not forever and ever like her.
I thought of her today when “Luigi” drove me home from getting my car serviced. I got the highlights of his life story in the fifteen-minute drive but didn’t add the final line, “I will pray for you.” Once I got home, I did anyway though. My mom’s voice rang in my ears.
I don’t know if I will ever take my stranger prayers to that level, but I know my life has been profoundly shaped by being near the top of her list for every one of my days. Maybe one of these days, I’ll start carrying around a list too!
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people. 1 Timothy 2: 1 NIV
About the author: Letitia Tish Suk invites women to create an intentional life centered in Jesus. She is a blogger and author of Getaway with God: The Everywoman’s Guide to Personal Retreat and Rhythms of Renewal. She is a speaker, personal retreat guide, and life coach in the Chicago area.
Her latest book, 100 Need-to-Know Tips for Moms of Teens and Tweens, will help you cope with the day-to-day challenges of parenting your teen while encouraging your heart and soul.
Join the conversation: What inspires you to pray for people?