If a friend or loved one came up to you and, visibly upset, unloaded a laundry list of bad things that just happened, would you pray with them if they asked?
Most probably would, depending on their walk with God.
I know some people who would pray for a good long time with that distraught friend. Others would call others over and create a circle of prayer warriors (almost a literal hedge of protection) to pray for that person.
I also know plenty of people who would shrink in fear, look around to see if he or she were the one supposed to pray. Honestly, for the longest part of my life this was me. I'm getting better at it, though.
Now imagine trying to do it in another language. Yes, that has been me a couple of times recently. We had a group here from Kansas, and they prayed with some school kids while serving breakfast. I served as an interpreter a couple of times, and I thank the Lord the people praying kept it short and simple. I also thank PROVEE for all the praying we do so I have heard a good amount of prayers in Spanish. So I don't think I murdered the Spanish language too much, but there was a couple of times when a kid looked up at me while I was interpreting to give me a "what you talking bout Willis" look.
While you may never have had someone come up to you and ask for prayers, you probably at some point this week have seen someone on social media (usually Facebook) ask for prayers for some reason, usually illness or injury to them or a family member.
A while back (this could have been months but most likely years) my beautiful bride said that she was going to start writing prayers in the comment section when people ask for prayers.
This is a great idea, and one I took to doing -- recently. Actually, since I used to write for a living (maybe you can tell reading this or maybe you can see why I don't write for a living any more by reading this) this should be really easy. In person, you have to vocalize what you are praying, and long, drawn-out pauses are usually not included in verbal prayers. Praying in the style of Christopher Walken is not common and probably not welcome (did he just pray for more cowbell?)
But, when you are typing out a prayer, you can take your time. You can have a mental chat with God about what to say. You can even edit what you type, before or after you hit send.
And it doesn't need to be long. But it will be longer than what you usually see when someone bares their pain in long Facebook post: Prayers. I don't mean to make this sound critical. I think anything posted is effective. It is better than just scrolling down or hitting the sad face under the like menu. So at least it's something and if you're a "prayers" person, chances are you have prayed on their behalf.
But taking a moment for someone in pain and writing two sentences on their behalf as a petition to God is that next step. I believe that taking that extra few moments to analyze the situation and think about what to write helps all the people involved. I believe it helps the person asking, because I have gotten feedback from them when I do it. I believe it helps me (or you if you start doing it) because this is one of the ways I work on my relationship with the Holy Trinity (Y'all as I called them when I had a prayer journal) I ask for help and generally things happen. Sometimes it's not exactly what I ask for, but it's usually something. And I believe the Lord wants to be included in our thought process.
Also, it seems the more I write out a prayer, the better I get at it, or at least I think I do. At least it's easier. Then this week, I added a Bible verse. Tab and I read six chapters of the Bible a day, and the day before we had read something that was perfect for the situation. So I put it in the prayer (and I'll put a different one at the end of this post).
I guess this is proof that I'm becoming a Christian missionary. If God is putting Bible verses in my head to use at the right time, I am doing something right. Slowly but surely, the Master Potter has been molding me to become who I am now and who I am to be, all according to His plan.
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people," 1 Timothy 2:1.