Pulpit: The power of 5 simple words

How many times in the past week have you heard someone share a story similar to one of these?

• A friend's husband was recently diagnosed with cancer

• My daughter is struggling with depression

• A collegue's brother has an infant son who has severe health issues

These are real examples from people I have met recently and what they carry on their heart daily. It is enough to make you very depressed, if you don't have faith.


In all of these situations, the people sharing their stories were being vulnerable about their "life situation." And I was honored to be the recipient of their disclosure. It is an honor to get this close to people that you hear their life situations and their pain.

How do you reply when someone shares such personal information with you? Do you have people in your life who are willing to share their deepest fears, concerns and struggles with you?

What do you normally say after a friend has shared such heartfelt pain with you? Nothing, no matter what we say, ever seems to be enough in these very difficult situations. Give thought to simply saying these five words: I will pray for you.

When we pray for someone at a time of need, we are not trying to manipulate God, as if we pray a certain way, and for a certain length of time, he will heal our friend's husband's cancer. God doesn't work that way.

When we pray for someone else, we are asking God to be visible in a real way to the person going through the hardship. God already knows what we want and need. Remember that great line in the Gospel of Matthew, "Your Father in Heaven already knows what you need before you ask him." Then, two verses later, he teaches us the Lord's Prayer.

This is a wonderful way to pray for other people's needs. Take two minutes every day and say an "Our Father" for all the people in your life who could use your prayer assistance. This is also a very simple way to follow through on your commitment. Prayer does not have to be hard or long to be effective.

Praying for others changes us. I encourage you to give it a try.

What do you have to lose? But what a difference it can make to the person you love.

What To Read Next
Get Local