I sat in church last week listening to a very special prayer request for the wife of one of our pastor's. She has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Our sister church is hurting over this news but they have not given in to despair, they have chosen to fight!
I listened and marveled as our own pastor spoke on the difference between a sympathy prayer and a prayer of faith. Sympathy prayers are those kind we pray because we feel sorry for the individual, and want to "do something" to make them feel better. The Prayer of faith, the Bible says in James 5:15 shall save the sick.
The pastor also talked about the kind of actions that is required on our part for any type of healing to take place...from the crippled man whose friends cut a hole in the ceiling and let him down in the midst of the meeting, to the blind man who called out to Jesus as he passed by. Healing requires something of us.
I thought about those "sympathy" prayers I had prayed in the past and I also thought about the people who had received them. Then the scripture came to me about "reap what you sew." Then I thought: Have I sewn the kind of prayer that I would want to reap should I find my self in dire straits?
I ask myself this question now each time someone asks me to pray. "Ginger are you praying for this person the same way you would want them to pray for you?" When the answer is no, I stop and put myself in their shoes and then I pray again.