Someone I know posted some sad, dark words on Facebook. Someone else I know responded by telling them to “Pray, Jesus can save you.”
That is a true statement. Prayer is important and Jesus does save. However, as someone who has called out to Jesus plenty of times in my life, I wonder when, exactly, is Jesus going to show up? When will I be saved? I wonder how hard, exactly, do I have to pray?
The difficulty with these statements- as sincere as they are- is they put the burden of action on the suffering person. YOU call out to Jesus. YOU pray.
Do you think they haven’t?
Do you think they aren’t praying?
Or maybe life is so tough right now they can’t pray.
I know when we say things like this, we want to be helpful. We are sincere. We do care. But I would like to suggest another response.
It might be more helpful to say, “I am praying for you right now and I will continue to pray for you daily”.
It might be more helpful to be Jesus and actually show up. Call, text, knock on the door. Mostly Jesus saves people through other people. Instead of giving a burdened person more to do (or more to feel badly about not being able to do) perhaps we should give ourselves something to do. Be the answer to their prayer. Be Jesus’ presence to them.
In my experience, Jesus shows up when we show up.