Robin Gudal: Practice praying anywhere, anytime

Published 7:41 pm Thursday, December 5, 2019

EN(dur)ANCE by Robin Gudal

Robin Gudal


I’ve come to the place where I have had to stop telling people, “I’ll pray for you.”

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I simply know that despite my good intentions — and these promises are almost always spoken with good intent — I know that nine times out of 10 I just don’t remember to follow through, and then I feel guilty that I forgot. I don’t like promising something I probably won’t live up to.

You know how these stories go: Someone you care about tells you of their pain, need or struggle, and you respond with, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that; I’ll pray for you.”

So instead of promising future prayer, what I try to do nowadays is stop, right there in the moment, and pray. Right then and there. It’s funny how many Christians this throws off guard.

“You mean, right now?”

“Yes — absolutely. Let’s pray.” (Quote from John Eldredge, in the book “Moving Mountains”)

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV

I had this experience years ago. We were traveling and stayed overnight at a hotel. My sister was with; she is a magnet for new friends. Over breakfast I was engaged in a conversation with a random new friend, about her son. He struggled, majorly in life.

Out of the blue she asked me, “Would you pray for my son the rest of your life?”

I was stunned. I had only known this woman for half an hour. That was bold; a momma will do most anything for their kids — but asking this to a stranger?

I replied, “No, I am sorry I can’t commit to that.”

I felt bad, but I also didn’t want to break a promise. I did commit to pray for him when he came to mind, like today.

I have a dear pastor’s-wife friend who does just as John suggests. Let’s pray right now. It doesn’t matter where we are. She grabs my hands, closes her eyes and pleads with Jesus her prayer for me and for others in his name. The first few times, I must confess, I peeked to see if others where watching. It felt uncomfortable, until I realized how important those prayers are! It does not matter where I am.

My hubs, Greggy, does this often; seldom do people refuse prayer. It is, after all, a gift.

This past summer, when camping, we saw a man walking with a (painful looking) limp and he asked him if he wanted prayer. Yes. The friendship blossomed throughout the day (as he walked past us several times) ending with having a meal together. Before sending him off, two men huddled praying for one another. That is the word of God coming to life.

Practice praying, wherever you are.

Robin (Beckman) Gudal, intentional in life, is a wife, momma, nana, friend, and a flawed and imperfect follower of Jesus.