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Think about the last time you were going through a tough time in your life. What were the most helpful things that people said or did?

For me, it was after I had my daughter. We had just moved to Hawaii, far away from family and friends. I was a newly minted stay-at-home mom of a newborn. And I was isolated, lonely, and depressed.

When I finally started opening up to my closest friends about how I was feeling, the response was incredible. Yes, of course they said they’d pray for me (and without a doubt they did, and their prayers made a difference), but they also took action.

It wasn’t a dismissive: “I’ll pray for you, but I’m too busy to actually help.”

Or a scared: “I’ll pray for you, but your problem is too big for me to deal with.”

Or a harsh: “I’ll pray for you, but you really need to just get over it.”

It was the friend who committed to weekly Face Time sessions with me so that we could both feel like we weren’t quite so far away.

It was the friend who recommended a Bible study and offered to have weekly study sessions with me.

It was the friend who listened as I cried on the phone, pouring out my heart and my hurts.

Did I mention that each of these women was thousands of miles away from me? And that they each have families, lives, and ministries. These are busy women who stopped what they were doing and took time to live life with me.Stop Saying I’ll Pray For You And Start Taking Action

When it would’ve been easier to say “I’ll pray for you” and hang up the phone, they chose to get into the muck and mire of my depression and pull me out. They chose to get dirty when it would’ve been easier not to.

They chose to be Jesus’ hands and feet.

They said: “I’ll not only pray for you, I’ll live this with you. How can I help you? I’m willing to sacrifice my time, energy, and comfort for your well-being. Let’s live this messy, difficult, beautiful life together.”

This is what it means to be Jesus’ hands and feet.

Praying is so, so important, and we absolutely should pray. But, after we pray, we should also take action. 

I believe that God wants to use us to be blessings for other people, in His name. We just have to be willing to step out in faith.

Just to be clear: The issue here isn’t at all with prayer. Prayer is absolutely the most important thing we can do. Rather, the issue is with saying the words, “I’ll pray for you” without being willing to do anything else. The issue is the excuses we make to avoid going out of our comfort zones to help others. The issue is not being willing to be used by God to serve others. 

When the crowds came to Jesus for food and healing did He say, “I’ll pray for you” and then walk away? No, He took action. He fed them. He healed them. He touched the man with leprosy. He stood toe to toe with demons to save a life. He defended the sinful woman from the Pharisees.

Jesus wasn’t dismissive, scared, or harsh.

He was bold, brave, loving, and fearless.

I want to be bold, brave, loving, and fearless.

I want to be like Jesus.

If we want to be like Christ, we have to start living out our faith. Not from the comfort of our own living rooms but in the world with those who are suffering.Stop Saying I’ll Pray For You And Start Taking Action

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So what can we do, in addition to praying, to help others during difficult times? Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Provide rides to doctors’ appointments. If your friend is ill, take her to her doctor appointments. Wait with her, comfort her. Don’t turn away from her discomfort.
  2. Go grocery shopping. Provide food and necessities to someone who isn’t able to make it to the grocery store or who can’t afford it at the moment.
  3. Cleaning house. This one is for all the new moms out there. People tend to want to come over and hold our babies. What would be super helpful instead would be for people to come over and wash dishes or do laundry so that we can take a nap with our little ones.
  4. Cooking. Make regular meals for someone who is ill, just had a baby, or is otherwise unable to cook for herself.
  5. Babysitting. If you know a couple whose marriage is in a difficult place, offer to watch their children so they can have some time together, just the two of them. Or maybe you know a mom who just needs an hour or two on her own to regain her sanity.
  6. One on one Bible study. If you have a friend who is struggling in her faith or wants to build a deeper relationship with the Lord, meet with her weekly. Disciple her. Live out Titus 2.
  7. Regular phone calls or video chats. If you’re far away and can’t be there to physically help, commit to spending time weekly to pour into your hurting friend.
  8. Go for walks together. Simply spend time together. Sometimes just being there and being willing to listen is more than enough.
  9. Share about yourself. Be willing to open up. Let go of the “perfect Christian” façade and be willing to share your struggles and faults. Let your friend know she’s not alone.
  10. Possibly the most important one: Ask your friend what she needs! How can I help? Be ready and willing to follow through.

If you feel like whatever you have to offer is inadequate or that you have no idea how to help just do something! God will equip you. He will multiply whatever small offering you have for someone in need. He will use you to bless many, you need only be willing.

It’s time to start being bold, brave, loving, and fearless in living out our faith with others. It’s time to start living an authentic life in Christ. It’s time to become more like Jesus.  

Will you join me in living out an authentic faith? Keep praying, and then commit to reaching out to someone in need today! Provide a meal, grab a cup of coffee and settle in for deep conversation, make a phone call. Just do something!

I’d love it if you’d share with me in the comments what you plan to do! Let’s encourage and inspire one another in Christ!Stop Saying I’ll Pray For You And Start Taking Action

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98 Comments

  1. Yes! My first action is to put the prayer on my prayer wall. It holds me accountable. As needs arise, I am then faced with them everyday. It helps me focus on what I can do, whether it be to simply pray or use actions to help. Thank you for this!

    • That’s such a great idea! What a great way to make sure you never forget about the needs that exist around you. Thanks for the great suggestion!

    • My daughter just passed away. Many came to my aid and was truely Christ hands and feet. The one that touched me the most was after the funeral when everyone was gone, my grandson who had a three hour trip home, came and rolled his sleeve up and said I want to cut your grass before I leave . He didn’t ask what can I do, he seen the need and stepped up and met the need

      • God bless you and your grandson. My heart is merry that you have such a considerate grandson. What love! May God continue to send His Holy angels and earthly agents to help you during this most difficult time.

      • I am sorry for your great loss, Anonymous! I believe in doing more than just praying. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful demonstration of love and caring from your grandson! How can I help?

      • Jessie Hudson Reply

        im sorry about your daughter, i cannot imagine your heartache. i just wanted to comment on you grandson. that is very sweetof him. actions speak louder than words. Godbless you dear

    • This has been just what I needed and an answer to my prayers. I am excited to learn of the prayer board and will start today. I will take my friends who have been hearing the “I will pray for you” and need more action from me. Action as this site has pointed out the that I am very much able to give if I had only stop and put my shoes in their feet. I love this site not sure how I found it not so smart on my smart phone thank you

  2. I like to write a heartfelt message in a card and mail it or even put together a simple care package.

  3. Jennifer Davis Reply

    I love this topic! Mostly, because I agree wholeheartedly BEING the hands and feet of Jesus along with interceding in prayer. However, I am curious how this looks when the one who you would love to be the hands and feet to, and it’s obvious that they need the encouragement or help, refuse to accept it?

    • That’s a tough situation, and I think probably pretty common either because people don’t know what they need or they don’t feel they need any kind of help. I love Camie’s ideas below of writing a heartfelt message in a card or putting together a care package. Sending those things can remind that person that you’re there to support them even if they don’t want other help right now. Also, you could make it a point to call more often to catch up and see how they’re doing or invite them out to lunch if you live close to them. Just love on that person in any way you can. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

      • Emily Young Reply

        I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. I found out that sickness was related to my Amalgam fillings that is in my mouth. There are no dentists in the Bahamas that can help me, there fore I am forced to take a trip to Orlando in order to have my problem solved. Not one of my friends, colleagues or church members offered me any assistance. I am always sick. I am thankful if I can work an entire week with out feeling well. But just about every one is saying I will pray for you. No one is offering any thing else.

        • Emily, I am sorry you’re feeling let down. Be specific with what you may need: meals, childcare, prayer. Perhaps they need a nudge.

  4. Love. This. Post! To date, I’ve always said, “I’ll pray for you” or will send a nice note to encourage. But this… I’m inspired to step-up; any of those 10 would be so easy and such a blessing! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you can use some of these ideas to be a blessing to others! God has been on my heart to do the same and start living out my faith instead of just saying it. 🙂 Thank you for the comment!

  5. This is an amazing post! Thanks for sharing. I never thought of other ways to be there for a friend who is far away, but the FaceTime and bible study check ins is perfect. You’ve inspired me to take action in this way, God keep blessing you! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I’m so thankful for others who thought of creative ways to help me even though they were far away (facetime, Bible studies), and I’m looking forward to now being able to do the same for others. Blessings to you as well!

  6. This post is amazing! Thanks for sharing. I never thought of other ways I can help a friend who is far away, but the FaceTime and Bible study check ins are perfect! You’ve inspired me to take action in this way. God keep blessing you! 🙂

    • Thank you!! I’m so thankful for others who thought of creative ways to help me even though they were far away (facetime, Bible studies), and I’m looking forward to now being able to do the same for others. Blessings to you as well!

  7. Wow! I’m So inspired!!!!! Thank you sooo much.
    How can I show support to a friend who is battleing with a grown child?

    • It sounds like your friend is going through a really rough time, but I’m happy she has a friend like you who wants to help! Spending time with her and letting her share about her struggles while you also share about yours may be helpful. Also, a home-cooked meal, a nice lunch out together, or a small gift all let her know that you’re there and want to serve in any way you can. Don’t be afraid to ask her what she needs. And, of course, in addition to any actions you take, be sure to pray! Prayer is very powerful, I just believe God also wants to use us for action. Thank you so much for the comment!

  8. What an important topic Bree, I’ve been “there” many times and I remember wishing so desperately someone would offer to help me, to come alongside me, instead of just a sympathetic ear. That was wonderful too, but when we are drowning? We need so much more, but you have given powerful tools for us all to take away. Well said!

    • Thank you so much!! It’s so powerful when others really come alongside and walk through those difficult times with us.

  9. God is funny! In the past couple of months, I felt odd saying, “I will pray for you.” I felt it wasn’t enough. ANd then with a gorup of friends we were talking about knowing or not knowing people’s needs and maybe we should do something about it. Thank you for this!

    • I’ve felt the same. Prayer is still the first thing we should do, but I think God will often use us to be the answer to a prayer if we are willing to step out in faith and help someone. I often feel the urging as I pray to do more, and I believe that’s the Holy Spirit moving within me. God is amazing like that! He’ll often give us jobs to do as soon as we say, “Lord, I’m willing, lead me!” Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  10. Kelli Barkowsky Reply

    The ladies at our church use an internet site called Care Calendar where you can set up meals, babysitting, housecare, or rides for those who are ill, recovering from childbirth or surgery, or experiencing difficult times. It’s free and simple to use. Anyone can use the site. It was such a blessing for our families that it has begun to open peoples hearts and minds to the needs around them simply because they themselves had been blessed. It’s hard sometimes to know what to do, but hospitality is so very important and it blesses the Lord for His people to extend mercy and love for His sake. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Gal 6:9

    • Oh I love that!! I’m going to look into Care Calendar. What a great idea for setting up help for others. And what a great point about how, when we receive help, our hearts are often opened to helping others. Thank you so much for the comment and the great idea!

  11. Love this post! I’ve been meaning to grab a coffee with a friend that had just went through a battle with cancer and I been on and off sick myself. But now I’m feeling better and I will finally get coffee with her.

    • You brightened my day with this comment! 🙂 It sounds like you will both be blessed by some time spent together. Thank you so much for sharing!

  12. I am going to visit a friend who lives a coulple of hours away and with whom we don’t get to see each other often. I’ll be open for a conversation and I’ll tell her about some of my struggles. We have some in common but I have never told her about mine because I have always felt that I have to be “strong” for her as an “older” christian.

    • That sounds wonderful! I’ve had women, who have been Christians longer than I have, pour their hearts out to me, and it is something that bonds us together in Christ. We all have struggles, and we can support each other through them as we strive to follow the Lord. Thank you so much for sharing! Your plans are so inspiring to me!

  13. Thank you for this! It was very inspiring and something I will be more intentional with. I have done these types of things but would like t challenge myself to do it for people I don’t necessarily know. The Care Calendar sounds like a good place to start! Let’s love on each other and let God shine! ☀️

    • The Care Calendar is such a great idea! I’m so thankful Kelli mentioned that. And I love the idea of serving people outside of our circle of family and friends! I agree, it sounds like a great place to start! 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  14. Thank you for the responses ladies. The things God has spoken to me about through the article and the experience you’ve shared in your comments are important. I am in a place where there are very few chistians of the same faith. The support we can get from other people in the church is so encauraging. Sometimes we may feel certain things or have certain thoughts but have no clarity whether or not and to what extend they are right before God. It leaves us somewhat lost. That is when other people’s testimony and exhortation can give the answer. The importance of His Body present in our lives is crucial indeed.

  15. Another alternative to saying “I’ll pray for you” is to say “Let me pray WITH you” and to stop right then and there and pray. The times friends have done this with me have been powerful demonstrations of how a sister or brother in Christ is a means of grace.

    • Yes! Praying together is a great idea! I love the idea of stopping right then and there and praying with someone. Thank you so much for the comment!

    • So right on! That’s what I sometimes try to do if someone tells me about hardships in their life, while I’m with them and I have the time right then.

  16. Boy oh boy this message was for me. I plan on being present by having coffee with a friend who lost her sister and a neighbor whose husband is sick and is isolating herself from others; I will drop over dinner and call frequently.

    • I think it is amazing that you’re so willing to allow God to use you to be a blessing to your friend and your neighbor! Thank you so much for sharing your plans! Reading your message has inspired me as well! 🙂

  17. One of the ladies in our congregation makes little lap quilt blankets for anyone in the congregation who are sick, going thru Cancer, or shut ins. They are so awesome and everyone who has received them, loves them, they are those , maybe 4″ scrap squares all sewn together as a quilt top. She attaches the top to the bottom by typing yarn knots at all the square intersections……another lady friend that goes to a different denomination congregation also makes quilts using new cloth. She uses certain colors and symbolism. She does certain squares in the shape of a cross. . Black representing sin, red representing the blood of Christ, white representing , gold , maybe representing the crown of Christ. She sent not to my Mom who she didn’t even know. The ladies of her prayer group do this for all of the sick of her congregation and anyone who was added to the prayer list from members. They include a poem that list all the colors and their symbolismNN. I think it is an awesome work. Those ladies didn’t even know my Mom who had cancer.

    • Wow, I’m just in awe of what those ladies do! I love that they put so much care and love into creating beautiful gifts for people they don’t even know. It’s incredible what God will do through us when we are willing to be used by Him. Thank you so so much for sharing!!

  18. Such inspiring ideas! Thank you so very much. I can use this in a current situation. I have a friend who will be having surgery soon, and she is extremely frightened. I keep telling her that I will pray for her and that she should also, but I think that by actually taking action it will hopefully encourage her and help her feel more at peace. Thank you again!

    • Yes! Definitely keep praying and encouraging her to pray and then be ready to step out in faith and help in any way you can. It sounds like you are a blessing to her! Thank you for sharing that!

  19. I completely understand & agree with what you saying here. I’ve been on the receiving end of the words only fast too many times. A lot of people don’t even pray after they say that, not cause they don’t mean to, but because they are busy & forget. One of the things I do is to pray with them, right then & there. I had previously prayed over the phone & in church with someone, but I felt God was telling me to take it to the next level. I have now had prayer times in restaurants, grocery stores, Wal-Mart, waiting in line, Dr offices, the mall, at the beauty salon, at the gym, even in parking lots, etc. I’ve prayed with people I know well & those I just met; fellow shoppers as well as the people who work in those places. It doesn’t have to be a big long wordy prayer, you don’t need to be loud, you just need to be sincere & loving.

    • I think you are so right. I know I’ve been guilty of saying the words, “I’ll pray for you” and then not following through or praying once and then not following up in any way. And I love that you’ll stop and pray with them right then. I love what you wrote: You just need to be sincere and loving. So beautiful! Thank you!!

  20. My only word of caution on this post would be just to be careful when your helping others. I sometimes do to much by trying to help so many that I exhaust myself. I have a disability myself but I still put myself out there to help because I know that is what God wants me to do. I would help everyone if I could. So now when I know that someone needs help I pray about it and ask God does he want me to help or does he plan to send someone else. I can always be encouraging and listen and share my story and even help financially sometimes but some of the physical things that need doing are a stress on me. I do often though find someone else, who wants to help, to do those things I can’t. So I guess my advice is pray first and ask God what he wants you to do and he will always guide you in the direction he wants you to go.

    • That’s wonderful advice! The post is definitely about being willing to step out in faith as God directs, and it sounds like you are more than willing to help others in anyway you can. Taking care of yourself is also very important so that you’re able to help others. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!!

  21. Love this article! When a family member became sick, friends from out of town wanted to do something to help. They mailed Chick-fil-A gift cards to us. It was such a simple thing to do, but helped so much. I have a friend that will send me text messages telling me that has been praying and gets updated prayer requests. If it is someone that tends to isolate themselves when thing get rough, like me, provide a little extra encouragement to go have coffee or whatever treat they really enjoy.

    • Michelle, those are amazing ideas! I love the gift cards for food! I’m humbled to hear how God is using to many people to help others in these comments. And I’m like you and tend to isolate when I’m going through a tough time so I absolutely agree that the extra encouragement goes a long way. Thank you for the comment!

  22. Hey, my name is Enid. I work in home health during the night. I find it frustrating at times to be more involved with my church because of my schedule. I want to be involved in ministry. God has given me the gift of helps, but I find my time limited. I enjoyed this article. My friend Pat Merrill posted it on fb. I send cards, call a friend whose mom just went home to glory. I share scripture with client’s family that has been a blessing to see how God has been working in lives with His word. These are things I think we should be doing as Christians. Luke 17:10. Thank you for this article. God bless and use you.

    • Enid, thank you so much for sharing! It’s so wonderful how you’re able to serve the Lord even with a tough schedule. Thank you for the inspiration!

  23. My daughter in law best friend and I became very good friends. Her aunt was killed in a car accident June 1, last year. My great grandson died on father’s day last year. Her mother and aunt were very close. She asked me if I would go out with her and her mom when they went shopping. I did we became good friends. I introduced her to pineapple mango smoothie.. My friend died 2/10/17. I have talked to and prayed for her daughter. God was in the mist of that meeting and relatipnship.

  24. well i am fundamentalist Muslim but i believe that people having divinity , spirituality and good souls are in every religion so that bad people.. goodness is in human souls,, and here i am watching one example of such divine work .. and bree believe me you are such a dedicated person replying and answering all your viewers with such a good heart… God Bless you with courage and health…. !!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Your comment was so kind, but I want you to know that the only good in me comes from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing. I am a sinner in need of the mercy and grace offered freely through Jesus when we place our faith in Him. It is my prayer that all glory be given to God. Thank you again for the thoughtful comment and blessing! Blessings to you!

  25. Bree,
    What an amazing post. My husband is 55 and has early onset Alzheimer’s. I have a group of friends that truly live this way. They are Jesus’ hands and feet. I have to work still and they drive him places, take care of him so that I can have time to myself and they are truly a gift from God. I will share your blog with them. Thanks so much, I’m hoping one day I will be able to repay their kindnesses.

    • Helen, thank you so much for sharing about your husband and friends. Your story gave me goose bumps. I’m so sorry for your struggle, but I am so thankful for your friends who have stepped up to be Jesus’ hands and feet and walk this journey with you and your husband. It’s incredible how God will use us when we are willing to step out in faith! Thank you again!

  26. A friend of mind texted me tonight he was on his way over to meet with my husband and me. He has been going through a break up, the death of his father etc. I hold him in my prayers always but am ready to help him any time. We have met before to help him. He said he was falling apart and needed to talk. We are always ready to meet with friends in need for support, a shoulder and love. We met and listened to him as he told us his story. It was a productive talk and he was at peace when he left.

    I agree prayers are always welcome but giving time is even more beneficial to all parties involved.

    • Pamela, thank you so much for sharing! I love hearing how God is using you to answer prayers and support those around you! There is so much need around us, and God will equip us to help if we’re willing. Thank you again!

  27. I am so thankful to God for the authenticy and rawness of people’s comments. These past few weeks I have been compelled to love because he first loved me and I am so thankful to God for the gifts he has given me and owe him all the glory. Some of the things God has gave me the opportunity to do are:
    1. Buy a coffee for an elderly man with a long beard sitting on his walker who was outside Tim Horton’s. I forgot to ask him if he wanted prayer for anything because his eyes were filled with pain and possibly depression.
    2. Buy a Whopper from Burger King and a Water bottle for an older homeless woman who was outside of the Canadian Mental Health building also didn’t pray for her… but I need to ask the Lord to give me boldness to pray for people and to not be discouraged when they say no.
    3. I have been doing child care for a Christian family who’s husband is a full time Pastor at an inner city church and her youngest has a rare genetic disorder who I have been so blessed by! Also, I clean her house once a week… so that she can take her kids out and the other day where I do child care… so she can run errands. She has four children in total and one of them is in school full time and the other in Kindergarten. The youngest one with the disability is 2 and the second youngest is 3.
    4. I brought granola bars and a water bottle for a homeless man and listened to him share about how someone stole his cellphone.
    5. I made a home made card for the lady who is the Kitchen Coordinator in our church and who also leads the crafts and bags cookies for the mid week children’s program at our church.
    6. I bought Marigold coloured flowers and Gluten Free chocolate cupcakes from a local bakery for a widower who has Celiac in our building complex and had a visit with her. My parents and I also had her over for a meal.

    All the glory goes to God for giving me these gifts of service… and I just can’t wait to love more people because of what Christ did for me on the cross.

    Some suggestions for those who might want some in case you are stuck.
    Homeless blessing bags (socks, hotel or travel sized shampoos and shower gels, sanitary pads for homeless women… travel sized tooth paste, tooth brush, gift cards to a coffee shop, fast food gift cards (Subway, Burger King, Chic Fil A, etc) bus passes, trail mix, protein bars… wipes… face cloth… water bottle… etc. Make sure to put the food and toiliteries in a seperate bag.

    Give a gift card to a grocery store to a family in need and offer a ride.

    Visit Seniors in nursing homes or who are shut ins from your church.

    Hope this post helped!

    Blessings on each Daughter of God.

    I

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing! Your service to others in Jesus’ name is beautiful and inspiring. And thank you for all those wonderful ideas on how we can serve others!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  28. Thank you so much ladies for your authenticity and genuine spirit. I owe all the glory to God for the gifts he has given me to bless others. He gave his life for me so I seek to love others and bless people.

    Some of the opportunities God has given me these past few weeks:
    1. Bought a coffee for an elderly man who had a long beard and was sitting outside of Tim Horton’s. I didn’t ask if he wanted any prayer but I want to ask God to help me be bold to pray for people I don’t know the next time and to not be discouraged if they refuse.
    2. Bought granola bars and a water bottle for a homeless man and listened to him share how he was upset how he has a cellphone bill to pay that he can’t afford and he was needing change to collect to pay for it and I gave some change I had in my zipper in my wallet.
    3. Bought a Tim Horton’s coffee for another homeless man
    4. Bought Marigold colourful flowers and Gluten Free chocolate cupcakes from a local Gluten Free bakery for a widow in our building complex that I live in who’s husband died a year ago because she has Celiac Disease and visited with her when I gave her the flowers and GF chocolate cupcakes.
    5. Bought a Whopper from Burger King and a water bottle for an older woman who is living in poverty and was sitting outside of Canadian Mental Health.
    6. I do child care on Tuesday for a Christian family who’s husband is a pastor full time at an inner city church and his wife and him have four kids including the youngest who has a rare genetic disorder. Doing child care blesses the mom so she can go do errands and then once a week I clean her house so she can take the two kids that are 3 and 2 out for some time with Mom.

    Some suggestions in case anyone is stumped!
    Homeless blessing bags:
    Toiliteries (face cloth, small face wash, hotel or travel sized shampoos and conditioners, travel sized toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.. they often have access to a shelter
    Food (trail mix, protein bars, water bottles that you can get at the convenience store) gift cards to places like Subway, Chic Fil A, Burger King, Dairy Queen, etc
    Misc: bus passes, gift cards to coffee shops that aren’t far from where they are

    Socks, mitts, and hand warmers

    Make sure to put food and toiliteries in a seperate bag.

    Visit shut ins and seniors from your church who may be in a care home

    Buy a grocery gift card and offer a drop off and pick up ride to a family in need from your church to the grocery store. Help them with their groceries once you drop them off.

    Blessings on everyone and may God receive all the honour and glory in all that we do for others.

    Some suggestions

    • Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing! Your service to others in Jesus’ name is beautiful and inspiring. And thank you for all those wonderful ideas on how we can serve others!! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

  29. Hi, thanks for the post, really needed to read this. I’ve been dealing with the after effects in that after I extend a helping hand, my Friend isn’t willing to move forward. I realise that I need to give her time and it’s by His time, ultimately. But I hate to see her suffering where she is right now, around the people that aren’t good and spiritually as well. I hope she can embrace freedom but sometimes I get angry that all she wants to do is just wallow in the problem. Do you have any tips for how to help her?

    • Those situations are so hard! First, I’m so thankful she has someone like you to be there for her even when she’s not quite ready for help. Just continue being her friend. Continue praying with and for her, love her, make sure you’re calling/texting/spending time with her regularly. Share what’s going on in your life so she knows she’s not alone. Just remember, it’s not up to you to make her change, it’s just up to you to love her even through the rough times. Trust in God and His perfect timing. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  30. Praying is doing something, and it is the best thing one can do for anyone.

    • Absolutely! That’s something I mentioned several times in the post. This post was addressing our tendency to say the words “I’ll pray for you” without actually following through and without being willing to step out in faith as God calls us to do. I think, so often, we pray for God to help others, but we aren’t willing to be used by Him for that purpose. I mentioned that we should, of course, continue to pray for the needs around us as we also look for opportunities to serve others in Jesus’ name. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

    • Shawna Hakes Reply

      Susan, I agree that prayer is the best thing we can do … however I spent many lonely days and nights as a widow because people “were praying” but unfortunately not doing anything else. With that said I am positive that those prayers held me together and kept me moving forward but there are physical needs that require humans to step in and provide. I had many people who came along side of me but not always. I have learned grace through it all but this article is spot on and some more.

  31. Thanks very much this is amazing. its high time we start to take action. sometimes we say “i will pray for you” and we go home and forget to pray and it ends there.

    • Yes, I think it’s way too easy to just say the words and never follow through with anything. God gives us so many opportunities to help others in His name, and it’s incredible what He’ll use us for when we’re willing! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  32. What a great post, just what I needed to hear. Very encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing.

  33. I’ve started a twitter account and adding women with breast cancer. I’ve just gone thru it myself mastectomy and all and god has put it in my heart to help these women with prayer and being there for them to talk to. I’ve just started it so it’s very new but so far so good my heart just aches for them most are much worse then I was but today I’m going to offer phone calls if they need to talk

  34. Beverly Moss Crouse Reply

    Hi! Wow! Do people actually still pray??? Just kidding. If you knew my story, you would know why I am saying this. But it does seem that I have been thrust into a time zone where people have forgotten how to be committed to prayer. In the 1980’s I was a newlywed and a member of a young struggling church. I remember some of us would commit to meeting at 6-7 am once a week just to meet and pray. We kept the chat to a minimum so that the focus was truly on prayer. This more often than not turned our hearts toward the doing, just like you share in your article. Now 37 years later, I find myself desiring and longing to be a part or even begin a prayer ministry. I am first going to commit myself to much prayer about it and start writing down some steps to take to begin writing some goals…you know, some doing! God hasn’t changed but methods of communication certainly have in 37 years!! I’m 58 and just a beginner at the methods you mention but I am willing to get better at it if that’s where God leads me. Anyway. Thank you for your article. I posted it on my Facebook to see if I can get anyone interested.

  35. Actually, I was given some very good advice very recently when I went out to stay with my daughter who had just had her first baby. A young mom I know said that having someone ask her what they could to help (tip # 10) was very stressful for her. She said what was most helpful was NOT having to “delegate” what needed to be done. She said “go in with your eyes open and SEE what needs to be done and then just do it.” So ~ every time it was on my lips to ask my daughter “what would you like me to fix for dinner?” or “Would you like me to do a load of laundry?” I remembered to just do it without asking. Would anyone complain about someone ELSE fixing your dinner anyway???

    • Shawna Hakes Reply

      I agree with that young mom. As a widow I have found the same to be true. For a long time and still 17 months later I find it hard to articulate what I need but if someone said, “Hey can I come by on Wednesday and ……” I’d be like sure!!!! All it requires me to do is say yes or no. Giving options is better than asking them what they need. Alot of times we just don’t know or are too afraid to ask. “Go in with your eyes open and see what needs to be done” is spot on advice.

  36. I loved everything about this. There are alot of struggling people around me. I know I can’t help all but I’m gonna try to help a friend go back to church and deepen her relationship with GOD. She has gone astray do to life distractions. And I just feel.she needs someone there to help her see she is not alone and she’s not the only one steuggling. Thanks again for this blog and really help me see a different way of going in helping others.

  37. How fitting that I see this today. God has called me to be an invisible ministry of one. Thank you for reminding us to keep our spiritual eyes and ears open to the needs of others and to be willing to move when we see an opportunity. I make a point of seeking out and warmly greeting people who may otherwise be overlooked. I stay and listen to what they have to say and offer hugs, prayer and encouragement. I offer sincere friendship. It’s often a simple thing to make someone feel loved and wanted.

  38. Thank you so much for writing this article BREE. I must confess i took out time to read through all the comments as i do my office work alongside. The comment thread alone made me feel we still have women out there who are supportive and willy to assist each other in this race of life… I pray Christ continue to give us the grace to be in the position to help others when they really need a shoulder to lean on. At the end we will not miss heaven IJN. i hope to read more from you darling, please be encouraged.

  39. How about going to shampoo the hair of a friend who has been bedridden in hospital for a long time?
    A simple thing to do and guaranteed to bring a smile to her face.

  40. I have been at the receiving end of kind and caring people after the death of a very close family member. What helped us as a family was receiving food in the form of snacks that didn’t have to be prepared. During stressful times one often forgets to eat or just too exhausted to prepare something. Sandwiches, biscuits, rusks (this is a South African favorite, and is usually dunked in coffee), quiches, freezer meals, cooked chicken, and so on. Every time we grabbed a nibble, we would thank God for these wonderful people in our lives. What a blessing!

  41. I agree. I think “I’ll pray for you” has become {for many} the equivalent to “bless your heart”. As someone who isn’t religiously involved in church, I think you’re spot on with intent and sincerity.

  42. Hi Bree, this is my first post of yours I’ve read and I found it on Pinterest. I am so glad that I did and I cannot wait to further explore your website. I love your explanation of how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a very simple and tangible way. I am so encouraged and inspired by this post and cannot wait to put these concepts into practice in my life.

  43. Thank you for this! I was just talking to my grandmother about trying to be more involved with my faith. I often find myself saying I’ll pray for and that’s it. I look forward to trying some of these tips. I’ll try all of them if I can!

  44. Bree,
    Thank you for writing about putting action along side our prayers. I know alot of people have trouble asking for help.
    I ask for permission to help…i.e. I knew someone depressed from bible study. I asked if it would be okay/helpful to call her throughout the week. Would it be helpful if we set up a calendar to drop off meals for her and her family. This way it takes the burden of asking for help from the person going through a hard time, but still being respectful of their boundaries.

    In his love!

  45. I have a friend who is ill. I have thought about helping her out but really didn’t know how to help. Your post has been a good source of ideas of great ways to help that I’ll surely be putting into practice. There are really lots of ways to help. Thanks for the ideas!. The most important thing is to put our faith into action!

  46. I definitely think it is important to put our faith into action. Of course prayer is the most important thing we can do, but I do think that is the foundation for what God would have us do. I have struggled so much in the last 6 years with depression and anxiety. To the point of it being debilitating. I have lost connection with most of my friends and had a very painful experience that caused me to shut people out and to be wary of letting people close. It has led me to in some respects stop being me. I believe God put in me the ability to truly and deeply encourage people. I’ve shied away from that over the last 6 years. I’ve been sensing in my spirit God calling me to grab hold of Him and trust Him when He lays words of encouragement on my heart for others. So I’m committing to speaking out those words, weather it be a phone call, text message, or a card mailed or face to face. I’m starting there and going to trust God’s leading when He whispers what He would have me do next. Thank you for your post. I most definitely want to bless others and have God work in me and through me.

  47. on a practical side.
    check for food allergies,
    for nursing home residents bring things that are useful, check to see if they are on special diet. hold a hand or just sit with them.
    text message a prayer so the person your praying for see that yore praying not just saying

  48. Wow, this is too true. I have often been guilty of this, especially because I am a home body that doesn’t like to stretch outside of her comfort zone. This is convicting! Thank you for your words today, Bree!

    Blessings

    Rachel

  49. I love this topic! Stop saying “I’ll pray for you “. I don’t feel it really comes from the heart. I agree with Jennifer. BEING the hands and feet of Jesus is proof you really care. I have tried be the hands and feet because I don’t feel prays are enough.
    Thank for this topic.

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