By Bethany Pitman
As a ministry leader, you’ve likely got many people sharing their burdens and prayer requests with you. You listen, nod along, and ask questions. At the end of the conversation, it is common and easy to say, “I’ll be praying for you.” While this phrase can be encouraging, it may also feel trite because people say the words so frequently. Below are some ideas of ways to support those to whom you minister instead of or in addition to saying, “I’m praying for you.”
- Offering a specific prayer is helpful. (“I’ll be praying for a calm heart and discerning eyes as you go into your meeting with your boss.”)
- Follow up with a friend after telling her you will be praying for her. Ask how the situation is going and if there are any further prayer requests.
- Avoid saying, “I will be praying for you” if you do not intend to do so. It is okay to say, “You will be on my mind this week. Can I follow up with you to see how things are going?”
- If someone is not a Christian, it is okay to ask, “Would you be okay with me praying about this for you? Is it okay if I check in with you about this in the upcoming weeks?”
In the Bible, James stresses the importance of faith being paired with works. Works are a follow-up and result of faith. While people appreciate knowing someone is praying for them, actions often speak louder than words.
- Follow up an offer for prayer with a tangible act. Most people will gladly accept a meal, childcare, or a coffee date, but many people feel uncomfortable asking for these things.
- When you pray for someone, send a text or a note letting that person know that he or she was on your heart and in your prayers that day.
Editor’s note: Check out CTA’s newly refreshed customer favorite Facing Difficult Days with Hope. Filled with Scripture, prayers, and reflections, it’s the perfect book to accompany your prayers for those walking through the valleys of life.