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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men.”—1 Timothy 2:1 (NKJV)
Confession: I’ve lied . . . many times! Oh not maliciously, or with the intention of deceiving someone for the sake of doing them harm. No, my lies have been camouflaged in the robes of spirituality, uttered with the utmost sincerity. Interestingly, it’s always the same exact lie, as well . . . the same four words that have freely flowed from my mouth: “I’ll pray for you.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad! Aren’t we supposed to pray for other people like Paul wrote to Timothy in the passage above?” Yes, but what makes this a lie is that I’ve been quite guilty over the years of promising to pray for a person without actually doing so!
Now, I know I’m not alone in this. Truth be told, I’m willing to venture that at some point or another, everyone who isn’t named Jesus has said, “I’ll pray for you” without following through. It’s not for lack of desire to do something good for someone else, it’s just that we are so easily distracted from doing what we say we’ll do.
This isn’t an excuse, though. There’s a sure-fire way to avoid doing this and that is to stop saying you’ll pray for someone and actually stop to pray for them right then and there. When we change that, when prayer is something that happens on the spot rather than being reserved for later, it’s so much better as it eliminates the possibility of us breaking any prayer promises—plus people get the prayer they need!
But as with any improvement, there’s also a sacrifice. It takes time and effort to do this. It means coming to a full stop with whatever we were on our way to do and deciding instead to approach God’s throne of grace on another’s behalf. It means making the conscious choice to be generous with our prayer.
Perhaps you’ve never looked at prayer that way before, as a form of generosity, but it certainly is! In fact, if we were to pull back from the narrow view of earth and look at life wide-lens like God does, we would see that prayer is actually the most valuable commodity that we have to give. What makes more of an eternal impact than our prayers?
In reality, our prayers are an endless treasure beyond mathematical calculation! How incredible then, when we decide to be generous with them, praying for and with people at every opportunity!
DIG: What’s the most valuable commodity we possess?
DISCOVER: How should we spend it? How can we increase in being generous with it?
DISPLAY: Today, pray with somebody. Ask around, find out if people need prayer over something, and take the time to pray with them.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.