How often do we say that? Maybe you run into a friend at the grocery store. You talk about recent events, ball games, what grades the kids are in and your friend mentions a relative in the hospital, some big life event or whatever and ends with “pray for us” and begins moving away. “I will” you say as you check your list and keep shopping. Sometimes we get real requests for prayer from people that are seriously hurting. Do we say “I will pray for you” just to make them feel a little better or do we really mean we are going to spend time in prayer with God interceding on their behalf?
“Hey, how are you?” is a casual greeting that doesn’t mean much anymore. We don’t really want to know, and might get annoyed if they set in explaining how they have been. “I will pray for you” needs to be more than that. It would be better left unsaid than casually dismissed in passing. Sometimes we say it in all earnestness but life happens and that person, and the need, slips away. The next time you say “I will pray for you” if at all possible stop and do it right then. It might have to be a 10 or 20 second sound bite if you’re at work or holding up a line somewhere. Saying you will pray is one thing; making it so is something else. It will ensure that you do not forget altogether and maybe you could pray again later as well.