The Written Prayer

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Bobbie and I crop1980

While living overseas, I regularly received letters from my mentor Bobbie Trull, who would often end her letters by writing out her prayer for me. I knew from experience that Bobbie’s intercession always had power. So, I often kept this portion before me, praying her words as my own.

Each precious prayer had one thing in common: the Word of God. These weren’t just Bobbie’s words — they were actually God’s! She was praying God’s will for me. I discovered that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us…we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 5:14-15). This was powerful stuff!

At some point, I moved from just reading Bobbie’s prayers to writing out my own. Something about the printed word extended the authority of what had been brooding in my heart. With fear and trembling, I, too, began sending printed prayers to the struggling.

Today, most of my prayers are now typed rather than handwritten, but the value of God’s Word has not lost His authority. My inadequate fumbling to pray His Word never negates the effectiveness of His desire. Ninety-eight percent of the time, when I send out a prayer written in weakness, I find that the Holy Spirit has ministered to the recipient in power.

I would like to challenge you to text or email a handwritten prayer to someone this week. I have found that having a prayer to refer to repeatedly helps someone overwhelmed to know how to pray for themselves. A written prayer prays more than once.

As you get started, remember the following guidelines:

Begin short. What are one or two specific verses you can claim over their life? Find a promise that you have already highlighted in Psalms or one that comes to mind from your pocket promise book.

Start your text with the words, “I am praying (scripture reference) for you today.” Then, cut and paste this verse into your text. Follow it up with a simple description of your prayer. For example, “I am praying Psalm 46:1-2 for you today. ‘God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.’ Father, thank You that You are Martha’s refuge and strength. You are present in the very midst of this trouble she is experiencing. I ask that she would not fear, even though it seems like her world is changing and the very things she has relied on are slipping away. Give she and I both faith to trust You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

Now send it out. Don’t fuss about your wording. It is more important to get a timely message fastened around the “leg of the carrier pigeon” than to worry about sentence structure. The Holy Spirit in the form of a dove will minister His Word upon receipt. Your job is simply to send it on its way.