Saturday, January 22, 2005

Evidence of Much Availed

"Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Confess your trespasses
to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." James 5:13-16 (NKJV)

I've had many opportunities to pray for other people this week. Some have been related to illness or tragedies, while others have been more upbeat, such as praying for my friend's job interview.

I tend to receive a lot of prayer requests, either from friends and family directly or second-hand through other people. Many times I'm asked to pray for people who I don't know, who I've never met and perhaps never will meet. One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of intercession, and God keeps sending prayer requests my way to give that gift a good workout!

Sometimes I wish I were better at following through on prayer requests. I do pray, but sometimes I'll pray about a certain situation and then soon forget to follow up to see how things turned out. (I do realize that there are many prayers that I won't know the answer to until I'm face to face with God.)

There are certain friends and family that I keep on a "permanent" prayer list, praying for them on a regular basis, even if I don't know specifically what they need at that particular moment. But there are many other people who I forget to ask about the outcome. I've tried keeping a prayer journal in the past, but I've yet to achieve a real consistency in keeping track of those prayer requests. Maybe I need to try it again.

Any ideas?

1 comment:

Rhonda said...


One thing I do when God sends a prayer request my way is to tell the person who asks me to pray that "I will be praying about that" and I also ask them to "let me know how it turns out". A lot of times, when the prayer is answered, the person who asked you to pray will contact you to share the outcome. It is always very encouraging to receive an update on how God has been working. But I also try to remember to bring up the request to the person a couple of weeks after the initial request, if I haven't heard from them, and ask them how things are going. A lot of times, though, if I don't hear from the person, I will forget to follow up...which I know is the question you are asking...

I too have had many opportunities to pray for other people the past couple of weeks...which means I had several requests to keep track of. What I did this week in order to keep track of them is I typed out a list of the requests and I put it in my purse...type facing that every time I go in my purse I see it and I say a quick prayer for the people on the list and I'm also reminded to ask the person next time I see them how things are going. So far it is working for me.