Quickie Prayers

A while ago I wrote about praying for others. In my devotional time as of late, I have been reading from 1 Timothy and Nehemiah, and on the same day they talked of prayer … just in different ways.

Pray for others!

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1, NIV) Paul continues by discussing for whom we should pray and a few other items I may discuss in the future, but the focus of today, I remind you, is on prayer.

Sometimes it can be difficult to remember to pray for others later, and we may not have time to offer a “great” prayer for someone. We might even forget to pray for our elected officials and church leaders. I think there is a good way to pray quickly.

Nehemiah’s example

I heard a sermon on Nehemiah several years ago by a man who is being installed as the District Superintendent of the Northwest Illinois (NWIL) district of the Church of the Nazarene, Scott Sherwood.

In chapter two and verses four and five, he read these words: “The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’ Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.'”

Pastor Scott’s message had little to do with prayer that day, but he made the observation that Nehemiah prayed to God has he spoke. There was not time to go find a quiet place and pray that God would allow the king to hear his request. It was then or never! He made his request to the king his simultaneous quickie prayer to God.

We need to remember that our entire life cannot consist entirely of quickie prayers. We need times of dedicated prayer to truly thrive. Quickie prayers are most effective when sustained by the wisdom and closeness to God that comes from times of personal prayer in a quiet (as quiet as you are able to find) place. That being said …

When we are talking with friends in passing or we do not wish to interrupt something important or just do not have time to stop, these quickie prayers can be just the answer.

It can look something like this:

“Oh, hi! I haven’t seen you in a while! What’s going on?”
“Well, my mom just got admitted to the hospital for cancer.”
“I am so sorry! I will keep you in my prayers, and, God, please watch over this family.”
^—This is the prayer!

… or …

[you see your friend in another car at the stop light]
“Where are you going?”
“I have a job interview!”
“Stay calm and strong! God is with you!” <—Here is this prayer!

… or even …

“I got the job!”
“Praise God!” <—Yep, this is a prayer!

The point is this: as you are giving the encouragement or praise, you are offering it to God as you speak.

I reiterate here that this is a simple way to pray for someone (and not be a liar when you say you will pray and later forget) that can be done so easily, but we also need that bedrock of personal prayer time.

I have gotten in the habit of just talking with God throughout the day about everything (yes, sometimes out loud), but that is yet another topic for another post!

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  1. That is some great advice you have there! Really, I’ve never thought of including a prayer in a comment that way. That’s pretty insightful.

    • I owe that to the wise men and women who have come before me and listened to God. I am not so sure I could have come up with that on my own, but I was always one to talk to myself, anyway! I just turned that focus toward God.

  2. I put this together after going to a retreat with Renewal Ministries, and studying The Little Flower (one of only 3 female Doctors of the Church).

    Do everything in Jesus’ name. Literally, in the name of Jesus. So, before I started writing this post I said, “In the NAME OF JESUS, help me write this post.”

    In the case of a rough neighbor, you can say to yourself, “In the name of Jesus, give me the strength to smile at my neighbor.” Then attempt to smile and wave at your lovely neighbor.

    Amazing how the phrase, “In the name of Jesus…” has helped my prayer life. Also helped life in general.

    The Little Flower was fond of doing little works with great love. These were sometimes works of suffering for the sake of the Kingdom. She loved to smile at people who weren’t that easy to smile at and to offer it up to Jesus.

    • It was a dear friend of mine who tipped me off to this several years ago. (I was about to say a couple, until I realized it was like seven or eight years ago!)

  1. September 11th, 2012

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