A few years ago I made a commitment to not promise to pray for people later but to do it right then. It changed my life for the better.
In the past I would promise to pray and often forget to do it. Then I would feel guilty.
When people promised to pray for me later – I would cynically expect them to fail just like I did.
With this new commitment to pray instantly I found a pattern that worked for me.
I always asked permission if I could pray for them.
I found that most people are happy for you to pray for them. Whether they believe in God, or an impersonal force, or nothing at all they appreciate your concern for them.
I found that brevity, sincerity and simplicity are all that is needed. This is not the time to get caught up on your prayers or to teach theology by the way you pray.
I asked to update me on what progress they made. I wanted to be able to continue to effectively pray and rejoice in God’s response to their need.
Their faith and mine were increased as God answered our prayers.
I found that this model of praying was swiftly copied by others as they prayed for others the same way.