When “I Will Be Praying For You” May Not Be Enough

Ok… I may make someone mad with this post… if so… so be it. Before I go any farther, let me make it clear; I believe in prayer. Ok… so don’t throw any spiritual bombs my way.
Lots of times when you share your problems with someone we get this response from well-meaning Christians… “I will be praying for you.”
I believe in prayer. It’s powerful and that may be what God wants us to say at times. But I promise you, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve had someone say, “I will be praying for you,” I would have a little money on my hands. Again, at times, that’s the right thing to say. But at times, it’s the easy thing to say… If we don’t really want to get involved and help someone, let’s just say, “I will be praying for you” and we move on down the street.
Nehemiah could have easily said that. Let me give you the background. Nehemiah was the cup-bearer to the king. The cup-bearer was a person who tasted the king’s food and drink. If someone was trying to assassinate the king, the cup-bearer died instead of the king. The king trusted his cup-bearer.
Nehemiah asked about the Jews who had gone to Jerusalem. He asked how things were going? But he wasn’t prepared for what heard.
Nehemiah was told, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
Hearing this, the Bible says Nehemiah, “…. sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.”
Think about that… Nehemiah could have heard the sad news, cried some but then, he could have said, “guys, I am SOOOO sorry about what’s going in Jerusalem. I will be praying for them” and he could have moved on.
Instead, Nehemiah was moved to help. The Bible says he prayed earnestly to God asking God to cause the king to grant him favor. Then, Nehemiah decided to ask the king to let him go to Jerusalem.
How do we respond when we hear about a problem? Do we reply, “I will be praying for you,” or, do we ask, “What can I do to help?”
There are lots of people who need help. People who are down, discouraged, depressed. When we learn about this, how do we respond?
Let’s do what we can to help.

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