Pray Backs

“I’m praying for you daily,” my dear friend typed in the chat window.

“Hey girl…just want you to know I miss you and I’m praying for you,” an AZ pal texted.

“Lee, you’ve been on my mind and in my prayers,” another friend scrawled in a pretty card.

I can’t articulate how much it means to me to know I’m being prayed for.

When hard times flood in, prayers are a life preserver. Some days, I can barely choke out a “Help me, Jesus,” so it helps to know my prayer warriors are on patrol.

I try to be a prayer warrior for others, but, lately, my mind stays cluttered with questions and concerns. Hard seasons bring out the self-centered in me. How ’bout you?

The other night, when my friend promised me her daily prayers, the Lord jolted me out of my mental fog and prompted me to ask a simple question:

“How can I pray for you?”

Six little words invited my friend to share a current need and gave me the opportunity to give her a “pray back.” You know…a pay back but with prayer.

After she shared her prayer need, I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to pray for her every day this week while she handles a challenging holiday situation. Though my mind’s still pretty cluttered, when my phone ding-a-lings, my inner prayer warrior wakes up and gets busy. It feels good to support my friend who’s been so faithful to support me.

I sense the Spirit nudging me toward a new prayer practice. If a person says, “I’m praying for you,” I will respond with, “Thank you! How can I pray for you?”

And then I’ll pray. Right then. With them if possible. If the person needs extended prayer, I’ll either set an alarm on my phone or jot a reminder on my bathroom mirror with my trusty green dry erase marker.

Pray backs pack plenty of power. They stir God’s heart. They encourage the prayer recipient’s heart. They refocus my heart.

Lord, give me a “pray back” heart that responds to each “I’m praying for you” with “How can I pray for you?”

Think about the folks in your life who pray for you faithfully. Who needs a pray back from you today? Leave a comment below with the name (or initials) of someone you’re going to ask, “How can I pray for you?” On Monday, December 28, I’ll choose one commenter to receive a signed copy of my 14-day devotional, Prayer Gifts  While You Wait: Grace for as Long as it Takes. You can keep the book for yourself or designate it for someone else. I’m flexible like that!

I won’t be posting again until after Christmas, so let me take this opportunity to wish you a sweet, sweet Christmas. I pray you experience His presence in a deeply personal way this week. Seek Him, and you’ll find Him. Emmanuel, God with us!

Don’t forget to leave a comment below! 




When Life Leaves Me Breathless, He Breathes Grace

For someone who doesn’t like Christmas movies, I sure have watched a bunch of ’em this month. I saw one with a Santa’s elf turned nanny. Ha…should have watched that one last year for pre-nanny training. She had super sonic nanny skills, AND she saved Christmas! Another movie used Santa magic to transport a small town professor into a lonely future where she had the career of her dreams but no one to love. Once she learned her lesson, the Santa magic got her back to where she could choose with new wisdom. Still another flick sent a successful TV reporter to an alternative reality as a stay-at-home wife and momma. After many misadventures, she woke up in her lonesome corporate apartment, friended her college sweetheart on Facebook, and rekindled their ten-year-old romance. Don’t you wish real life could like a Hallmark movie? Do-overs with happily-ever-afters.

Nah…I think I’ll stick with Christ’s steady grace and leave the Santa magic for the TV screen.

I love how He breathes grace on me just when life leaves me breathless.

Sometimes, He uses nature. Sunlight beaming through barren trees. A barn cat’s purring trust. Crisp fall air nudging me to the coffee pot.

Sometimes, He uses people. Phone calls and promised prayers. Blessing bags full of road trip snacks and handmade treasures. Tanks of gas and cash slipped in hands.

Sometimes, He uses perspective. Red kettles aching for change that brings change. A trailer full of donations for two needy mommas and their babies. Facebook posts from folks fighting illness or facing fresh grief.

Always, He uses His Word.

“Do not be afraid, [Lee]. I am your shield, your very great reward” (Genesis 15:1 NIV).

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27 NIV).

“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NIV).


Thank you for meeting me right where I am with grace gifts tailor-made for my need. Give me eyes to see the certainties and the possibilities. Ears to hear Your love songs and Your marching orders. Heart to give freely and to receive humbly. I trust You, Lord, with this today. Have Your way in me. In Christ’s name I pray, AMEN

Has life knocked the breath out of you? I’d love to pray for you.