What counts as prayer?

(Jessica Coaker) #1

“I’m praying for you.” or “Thoughts and Prayers”. We hear those statements all of the time. I often wonder how often people actually follow through on praying for someone when they say they will. And for that matter, what counts as prayer to fulfill the statement. Is simply saying “I am praying for you” a prayer in itself? Does God except our intent to pray as ACTUAL prayer? Do we have to stop and say specific words in order for God to know we are praying or want to pray for something? I try very hard to always pray for people when I say I will, but I will admit there have been times when I have said the words or typed them, and then forgot to follow up with a dedicated prayer time. Do I have to make it clear that I am praying? Does saying, " I am praying for you" then turn our thoughts about that person or thing into prayer? I know… this is a weird question. But I can’t help but think of all of the people who never follow through with actual prayer and the people who need the prayers said. I wonder how many times I have asked for prayer and someone says they will and then they never do. AM I the ONLY person who thinks of weird things like this?lol


Hi Jessica,

That’s a GREAT question. If God knows our hearts, I think when we say to someone, “I’ll pray for you”, you ARE in essence, praying for them because your heart’s intention is just that. In that brief meeting, you’ve ‘agreed’ with them in the presence of God because you are affirming that you’re a believer willing to AGREE to prayer. I’ve come to realize that the more people we actually have on our daily prayer lists, the more time we WILL spend in God’s presence and therefore, even if you forget to pray AGAIN for the person you promised, I believe the Holy Spirit will prompt you later on since you are writing this post.
Again, thank you for a great question and one that should get more replies.


(Keldon Scott) #3

@carmen wrote it well. The Lord knows our hearts. And, Romans 8:26-27:

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Best to you @Jessica_Coaker.

(Heidi Mitchell) #4

@Jessica_Coaker - I liked the way @Keldon_Scott referenced the verse in Romans about how the Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t have the words.
Sometimes, I’ll have a list of people I’ve said I’d be praying for- on this forum, missionaries, etc. and acknowledge each name, and with a hand on my list …( somehow that makes it more personal to me) …simulataneously pray over them all. I believe the Spirit can honor that and receive our desire to pray for several people- even in short moments of pause and prayer. Great question!