Imma Pray for You
By Lisa Lakey
If you heard me speak, you’d gather pretty quickly I’m from the South. I breathe with a drawl.
One of the things we’re known for down here, other than the humidity, is our knack for back-handed phrases. Like, bless her heart.
But another one’s popping up on t-shirts lately: Imma pray for you.
It’s typically said with sugar-coated snark, meaning, “Oh, you struggle with that sin? Not me. But I’ll pray for you.” The praying rarely happens, y’all.
I’ve been guilty of saying this a time or two (OK, maybe more). But the person I’ve used this phrase on the most? My husband.
And I’ve had to humbly apologize time and time again.
My spouse should never have to feel coming to me with weakness will be met with harsh, holier-than-thou judgment. There is zero room in marriage for that.
We all need someone to hold us accountable, but not without forgiveness, kindness, and patience. These things make all the difference in married life—both in the receiving and giving.
And second, shouldn’t “Imma pray for you” be replaced with “Imma pray with you”? When my husband comes to me to confess a weakness, a fear, a struggle (whether deep or superficial), I want my first response to be, “How can I pray with you?”
Or even, “Is it OK if I pray with you? You don’t have to say anything.”
Rarely can I fix what’s bothering my spouse. But I can most definitely reach out to the Father on his behalf. And I can ask God to bless his heart (no snark intended).
Read about one man’s month-long journey of prayer in “Learning to Pray With My Wife.”
The good stuff: Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
Action points: Pick one day a week to ask your spouse, “How can I be praying for you right now?” Not only will you be better equipped to pray for them, but you will give them an invitation to share their heart’s burdens with you.
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