I’ll Probably Be Praying for You, but Most Likely Not for Your Unspoken Request

The phrase “I’ll be praying for you” is used quite commonly among Christians today. This is a really, really, good thing to say – IF you mean it. I have a problem with people who use this phrase and make me feel, for a moment, that they really care. But, they either do not even come to check up on how everything is going, or when I share with them that the Lord has answered in a certain way, they’d say something along the lines of, “Oh, yeah. I remembered that you told me about that! Forgot about that.” I then do the eye-roll (in my brain) and politely excuse myself, all the while questioning whether they really meant what they said. It is quite apparent that they used the “I’ll be praying…” loosely.

If the person is not going to do as he or she says, then they shouldn’t use the word, now, should they? That is why, I am very careful when I use that phrase. So, here’s a challenge. The next time you use the sentence, be sure to carry out your promise. Write it down on the spot if you have too. It would probably even show the other person that you really are sincere about doing what you said. Don’t just let the phrase become another cliche that we can pull out and use and don’t even give it a second thought.

And while we are on the subject of prayer, here is a problem with the subject known as “unspoken request.” This is not something that I will pray for, unless I know that the person will share with the church, at a later date, how God has answered that certain unspoken request. Here’s why I don’t think that this is a good idea:

In Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” According to the Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry, the original Greek used for “your request” comes from the word αíτημα, which denotes the meaning of a “specific petition for a particular thing.” The verse here says BE SPECIFIC. An unspoken is unspecific as unspecific can be.

For all you know, that unspoken could be a request that the person will be able to win lottery, not get pregnant after some adulterous affair or sex outside of marriage, and so on… The reason why the church gathers and have prayer meetings is so that each individual can share with the church, as a whole, certain items that need prayer. If the person is not comfortable with going “public” he and she can just share it with the pastor or a few close friends. One of my friends once shared with me that at their youth group, unspoken requests are allowed – ON THE CONDITION that the youth shares, at a later date, how the Lord had answered whatever the unspoken request was. That would also be a good idea.

All this aside now, shouldn’t we be thankful that with salvation comes the privilege that God hears our each and every prayer? When Jesus died for our sins on Calvary, the veil that separated the holy of holies from the rest of the temple where the men dwelt. Like the hymn says, “Nothing between my soul and the Savior…”