I’ll admit it – I used to be that friend.  You know the one you tell your troubles to, and then would promise to pray for you, but as soon as you were out of sight or at least by the end of the day all good intentions of praying for you were quickly forgotten in the “busyness” of life.

It is not that I meant to be a bad friend, it was that I simply didn’t get it.  I did not understand the honor of praying for a friend, the power that prayer holds, or the battle to which I was promising to go to….I just said my pretty little Christianese words and moved on with my life…till the next time I saw you and the memory that I was supposed to pray for you would come rushing back and I would be flooded with guilt.

In 1996 – Steven Curtis Chapman came out with a song called “Let us pray”.  As with all of SCC’s music at that time I instantly learned all the words and sang along to the melody and danced to the beat – it was a fun song, the words rhymed and the rhythm was right.  But the words would haunt me, the first verse spoke of a life that was so like one I was guilty of…making promises with good intentions.  And the thoughts of praying everywhere and every day…I wasn’t sure exactly what that looked like.

In 1998 – I moved to Abilene, Texas and had the honor of working for a godly, faith filled woman by the name of Janet. (I call her Mama J) Mama J was a prayer warrior.  If I spoke of a problem, we sat down right there and prayed about it.  If we weren’t sure what to do about something, we prayed about it.  When her husband was not walking with Christ, we prayed about it. My parents going through a crisis, we prayed about it.  A boy broke my heart, we prayed about it. I was facing a huge exam, we prayed about it!  The woman prayed about everything!  In that year I spent more time praying than I had in most of my missionary kid life!

In that year I learned that prayer is so much more than just a conversation with God – though it is that; much more than asking for your wants and needs – though it is that too; much more than something you do when all else fails – rather it is something you do before attempting anything else.  Prayer is not talking to a distant far off Being in the sky….prayer is going into the presence of a loving Father for council, to petition, to plead, to rejoice, to thank, to worship, and to praise.  But more than any of that I’ve learned that prayer is a battlefield.  The Bible tells in Ephesians that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

That year and the years that have followed I have learned what it was to make a promise to pray for someone and what that promise meant….

So…If you are my friend….I pray for you. Not every day, though sometimes it is that frequent, but I assure you if you are in my life I pray for you.

Whether you believe in God, or not….
Whether you believe in prayer or not….
Whether you want me to or not, I pray for you.

At 3 in the morning when I wake up with your name in my mind….I pray
When I am driving in the car and I see a license plate from your state….I pray
When a song comes on that reminds me of you….I pray
When I watch the news….I pray
When I hear your name….I pray
When I know the burdens of your heart and the struggles of your mind…I pray.
When I promise you I will pray…..I pray.

I pray that you will come to know this Christ who died for you and this God who loves you.
I pray that the darkness will be pushed back in your life.
I pray that lies that the enemy has told you and you have believed will be broken with the Truth of who He is.
I pray that you will not grow weary in well doing.
I pray that you will have wisdom as you make decisions.
I pray that all of your needs (and most of your wants) will be provided to you.
I pray for the day to day of your life….those things that are seemingly mundane but mean more than you want to admit.
I pray for your future spouses.
I pray for your marriages.
I pray for your children.
I pray for your health.
I pray for your jobs.
I pray that you will not be blinded by what the world throws in your face as beautiful, but rather that you would see the beauty of the Cross.
I pray for brokenness, repentance, healing, salvation, & restoration.
I pray for miracles, the unexpected, grace, faith, and a whole host of other things that come to mind.

Men, I pray that you will fight to be the leaders that this generation needs and that you will not compromise for the things that this world has to offer.  I pray against the things that this world throws at you to make you fall.  And I pray for your hearts.

Ladies, I pray you will passionately pursue Christ more than you pursue anything else that this world says you need to complete you.  I pray that you will see who Christ sees when you look in the mirror and not what the enemy has told you that you are.  And I pray for your hearts.

As I pray for you – I also pray for me.

There are times when the battlefront of your life is harder than others and you have to call others to the battlefront to fight with or for you. I believe that in prayer I have the privilege of standing side by side in the battle with you; and if you fall and are wounded I stand in front of you fighting off the enemy until you are healed and whole again and we can charge into battle together again.

This it what it means when I say I pray for you.