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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>Prayer Self-Check


Got a letter today from a friend and supporter. In the midst of family news and such she asked me to pray for a guy who had been stabbed over 20 times in a street fight – and survived! In the process of writing her back I almost automatically wrote, “I’ll be praying for Matt.” God thumped me on the side of the head and I realized I had NOT prayed. So I stopped, prayed; and put the note in my “pray through” pile.

Made me wonder how many times I’ve told someone, in person; over the phone, over the internet, whatever, “I’ll be praying for you” and then forgot. Excuses are like elbows; everyone’s got a couple. But methinks this is inexcusable, because the Lord Jesus put on record this reminder in Matthew 12.36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak…”

Interestingly, the same Greek word here translated “careless” is used in James 2.20 where James declares “faith without works is useless” Jesus uses it also in Matthew 20.3 where He speaks of a landowner who saw potential laborers “standing idle in the marketplace.”

“Useless.” “Idle.” “Careless.” Words. “I’ll pray for you.” Commitment. Follow through?

I try to make it my practice to pray immediately when someone asks me to…in person, or however. But if I get rushed (careless) I’ll forget…and the Word tells me I’ll give an account for those “careless”, “useless”, “idle” lapses.

So I pray I’ll be mindful of Colossians 4.2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”

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