Today I am thinking about the phrases "Please pray for me" and "I'll pray for you".
When you hear about a friend's difficulties and/or they ask you to pray for them, it's so easy to say "Sure, I'll pray for you". It makes the person who needs the prayers feel better and it makes us feel like we are doing something to help.
However, after we promise someone our prayers, how do we actually go about praying for them? Just the other day, I wrote on a friend's blog that I would pray for her to have a safe delivery. Then I forced myself to stop and offer up a prayer for that very intention so that I hadn't just typed false words.
But besides the immediate prayer request I send up to Heaven, I all-too-often forget to pray for that intention again. This is a fault that I definitely need to work on. Even at the bottom of our Christmas cards we usually write something like "Praying for you to have a Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year", but do we actually pray for all those people we send the cards to?
I know I could make it a point to say a Rosary for a special intention, or offer up the Eucharist at the next Mass I attend, or even make a small sacrifice, such as not eating in between meals that day. Yet, I don't do those things often enough.
I know a wonderful priest who keeps a list of people he prays for daily in his pocket, and when the list gets too long to mention each one by name, he just prays for all of the people on his list. I also know a family of eight who has a prayer board in their kitchen as a daily reminder of who needs their prayers. What great ideas, and ones I should be incorporating into my own life.
What are some of the ways you pray for people? How do you remember all the intentions? I would love to hear your advice on this subject, as I feel I have a lot to learn!