Recently, I talked to a friend who is really struggling in her marriage. Her youngest child is testing her boundaries at every turn. Add to that financial worries, and she is one stressed-out sister.
We spent over an hour on the phone dissecting these issues as only girlfriends can do. My heart broke while I listened to her discouragement, and as we were hanging up I told her that I’d be praying for her.
I messed up.
Rather than pray for her right then and there, I instead offered her later prayers.
When we do that, we’re missing the opportunity to intercede in the moment for someone who needs covering. Rather than immediately calling down the Kingdom of God on their behalf, we choose to do it later.
Make no mistake, though. All prayer is good – both now prayers and later prayers.
And while I will without a doubt make good on my promise to cover her and her family in prayer, I should have lifted her up while on the phone. She needed a now prayer!
You see, when we wait to pray…
- We miss the opportunity to help their situation shift
- We might convey that it’s just not that important to us
- We miss out on the chance to bless them
We’re all guilty of it. We’ve all offered later prayers for a variety of reasons to those we care about.
- Sometimes we’re just not in the mood to pray
- There are times we are just too tired
- We might not think our prayers are good enough
- Sometimes we don’t know what to say
- At times, we’re intimidated to pray out loud
But, God tells us to pray on all occasions.
This means making prayer a response to every situation or need you come across all day long. Ephesians 6:18 says “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
I love that last part. We need to be alert to the needs of others so we can pray for them… praying both now and later prayers.
We don’t need to find a cozy spot. No need to grab coffee or tea. Mood lighting isn’t necessary. Nor does it have to be some big production. And if time is limited, your prayer can be as simple as, “Lord, will you comfort Carey as she works through all the struggles facing her today.”
But we do need to pray, because going before the throne is the most powerful tool we have against the Enemy. So when the opportunity arises, I encourage you to be now pray-ers and later pray-ers.
Sisters, be bold in your prayer life. Take every chance you get to lift someone up to the Father, on all occasions and at all times.
What a privilege.