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Christian discipleship for women, God's love, Spiritual growth mindset for women, Prompted to pray

My Friend,

This past week my family and I attended a high school divisional track meet. It was freezing, but we enjoyed seeing so many talented athletes compete as we huddled under layers of blankets. Every once in a while our conversation there in the bleachers would be interrupted as we heard the bang from the starting gun, telling the anticipating athletes it was time to run. And off they’d go.

At one point during the hours of us sitting there, a friend and I found ourselves talking about her son and the encouragement he gave a friend. I mentioned something about him hearing God and responding to God’s nudge. It’s then my friend said something that to this day remains highlighted in my mind. She said, “When someone comes to mind, you pray.”

It was such a straightforward statement, bringing clarity and simplicity to something so powerful. You know what? I think I can handle responding to a little nudge like that - it’s something I can do. I can pray for someone when the Holy Spirit places them on my mind. And although this wasn’t a new revelation to me, it was a succinct reminder. Did you know the Holy Spirit helps us in this way?

Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as the Helper. (Love that. God knows this girl can use all the help she can get!) Jesus went on to share a couple examples of what the Holy Spirit does, such as teaching us and reminding us of what He said. It shouldn’t surprise us that the Holy Spirit would bring people to mind, as well, so we can pray for them, partnering with Him as He helps them.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 ESV

A week earlier I was at my children’s junior high track meet. I had walked down the length of the field to be closer to my daughter as she participated in the long jump. I was so focused on her that I wasn’t prepared when the gun went off for the 100-meter dash. It didn’t make matters any better that I just happened to be standing near the starting line. (That got the ole heart pumping! I’m pretty sure I experienced some sort of body spasm as well!)

I wasn’t ready for the signal that it was time for the runners to take off. I wasn’t listening for it. It makes me wonder how often I have missed the prompting of the Holy Spirit because I was focused on other things in life - I wasn’t anticipating Him communicating with me. I’m pretty sure that people have popped into my head before, and I just let them pass on through without a second thought or a prayer said for them. Has anyone come to your mind recently that seemed quite “random” to you? I’m guessing we both are going to be much more aware of who we are thinking about from now on, aren’t we?

Does this mean we just stand there and wait to pray until we are given the go-ahead? No. We need to be proactive in our prayer lives. What an honor and privilege to be able to come before God freely, often, and boldly. (Hebrews. 4:16) I have a list of people and things I talk to Him about regularly. I might even put a reminder on my phone to help prompt me. (Stole that idea from Sarah!) But what a tremendous comfort knowing that the Holy Spirit, who knows all and sees all, will put people on our hearts who need prayer - people we weren't previously aware of. What a gift!

You may have heard people say they had a sudden strong urge to pray for their children. Later they discovered that their children were protected in an accident that was occurring at that time. This is wonderful, and it happens. But often we experience a gentle nudge, not a strong urge. Also, when we pray for someone who comes to mind, we may never hear of how our prayer affected them. We may even ask them about “that day,” and they may say everything was fine, nothing noteworthy to report. We may want to go away from such a conversation thinking our prayer wasn’t needed or didn’t accomplish something. But it could quite well be that they had an unnoteworthy day BECAUSE of our prayer.

If we find someone on our mind without a reason for them being there, might we take a moment to pray for them. The Holy Spirit invites us to join Him in helping people through prayer. Don’t be surprised if after you’ve prayed for that person, if the Holy Spirit encourages you to call, text, write, or visit them, as well.

So the runners line up, ears tuned in, waiting for the gun to sound, telling them to run. As believers are we tuned in to the prompts of the Holy Spirit, encouraging us to pray for someone? Or are we too distracted by what’s happening on the sidelines to be prepared to listen for Him?


I ask that You would help us to be aware of Your whispers. Help us to recognize when people come to our mind that have no earthly reason for being there. May we be ready to come before You with those we think of. May we be aware of the race we are in and be ready to receive prompts from You.

And Lord, I thank You for my friend. You are aware of her every need, care, and concern. I place her before You, knowing Your desire is to touch her with Your Presence and peace. Give her wisdom, protection, and strength for the race set before her, and may she run with joy. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In the starting blocks,


Discipleship for women, when God prompts you to pray, Spiritual growth mindset for women, God's love


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