A couple quick thoughts on prayer:

1.)  How often do you say to someone, “I will keep you in my prayers,” and then completely forget to pray for them? I’m embarrassed to even think about the number of times I have been guilty of the I’ll-Say-I’ll-Pray (but that doesn’t mean I actually will) Syndrome. One day I was given the most brilliant piece of advice—advice that made me feel ecstatic for having received it and stupid for not having thought of it myself.

The advice is pretty simple: When you tell someone that you will pray for them, as soon as you turn around (or hang up the phone, or hit “send” on your email, etc.), SAY A PRAYER FOR THEM! Genius, I know. Now, if you are as forgetful as I am, you will have at least said one prayer—one meaningful, promised prayer—for someone in need.

2.)  Many times as I’m going about my day-to-day activities, a random friend or relative of mine may pop into my thoughts. Years ago, I started a habit. When someone in my life, even if it’s a minor acquaintance, comes to mind unexpectedly, I pause what I am doing and say a prayer for him or her, thinking that they could need one (and, well, we always do need them).

The other day an old out-of-state friend happened to infiltrate my thinking as I was working on something that had absolutely nothing to do with him. I took my busy hands off the keyboard, crossed myself, and offered up a prayer for him and his intentions. We hadn’t spoken in quite some time, but somehow I decided to text him that I had just thought about him and was praying for him.

“Get out!!!” He replied, verbatim (triple exclamation marks and all) in his return text message. “I just got out of an important interview.”

Why was I surprised? As if I hadn’t ever heard of the Holy Spirit…

“What was your interview for?” I asked.

The Seminary.

Goosebumps, anyone?

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