My brother Marc likes to say, “When all is said and done, more will have been said than done.”
For years I didn’t know what he was talking about, but as time goes by I have started to notice that we of the human race tend to be full of good intentions that do not come to fruition.
A particularly embarrassing example is prayer. I wish I had a nickel for every time I have said to someone while departing, “I will pray for you.” The founding pastor of our church used to pray on the spot with the many parishioners who would solicit his prayers. We thought him super-spiritual but in fact he was as practical as he was godly. He finally explained to us that he reasoned he might not remember to pray for the person later, so he preferred to pray for him or her immediately.
The other day, as my friend Jill was leaving to go home after our pleasant two hours together, I suggested we pray before parting, which she was happy to do. This is becoming more of an established habit with me, the more often I do it. The apostle Paul had the right idea when he said to the Philippians:
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.”
Perhaps Paul was as practical a man as our old pastor Jack Miller. Perhaps he prayed every time Erastus or Onesiphorus or Trophimus came to mind, because he was concerned that if he did not do it promptly he would not do it at all. And so we see that even in Paul’s “throwaway” verse at the beginning of a letter to the Philippians, we find something to apply to our daily lives.
I can tell you this for sure: There are many more people I have prayed for because of my new drop-and-pray habit than I ever prayed for in the past when I used to say to folks: “I will pray for you.” When all is said and done, I want to have done something.