I can think of some special opportunities when I was given the opportunity to pray with someone at an important time. I treasure the memory of praying with my niece before she headed out to walk down the aisle at her wedding. I have prayed with others during difficult times as well. I never considered sharing prayers in written form, though. Then I walked through a particularly challenging time with a friend. You know those seasons when life just seems to fall apart for someone you care about? I was a part of one of those seasons for a sweet friend, and while I spent time making her family meals and offering to do other tasks for her, I also wished I could do more. When I felt like God was urging me to write a prayer for her, it felt awkward at first... but it also seemed like a perfect answer.
In that example, I sat down and just prayed my heart out for this sweet family, and then asked for guidance from the Spirit in recording my prayers for them. However, I have also had times when I was praying fervently for an individual and felt like God was responding with something I needed to share with them. Taking the time to really focus on someone God has placed in your life and then writing your prayer for them is such an awesome way to share God's love. It is often in those toughest times when we can't even find the words to pray. So giving the gift of prayer in this way serves to encourage and sustain fellow believers in a very real way.
It is important to remember that writing a prayer for someone isn't about our own words. It isn't something that should be done for any reason other than to share the love and hope that we all so desperately need! I do definitely believe that one of the primary purposes of prayer is to force us to slow down and really think about things. This gives God the opportunity to show us ways we can be His hands and feet that we wouldn't otherwise consider. When we pray for a friend who is fighting disease or facing loss, we don't (or shouldn't) do it to try to influence God. We do it because we want to support those we are blessed to walk this life on earth with. The answer to a prayer for healing may not be what we expect. It may instead be the answer of how we can help during the struggle. Taking the time to write out a prayer is definitely one way to help.
I am definitely enjoying finally taking the time to ponder and record some of this journey that I have been on as I seek a more focused prayer life. I am so thankful for this 31 day challenge keeping me going for sure! I look forward to seeing how God uses this in my life and for His glory! Soli Deo Gloria!