Here I am with spaghetti sticks in my hair writing a letter to you.
It's typical for me to wake up and have someone "on my mind". I pray early after getting out of bed and grabbing a cup of coffee. When I realize I've got whoever-it-is on my mind, I begin to pray for them. I may know them well or only in passing or not at all (national figures, etc.) I commend them to God's good care and move on. Sometimes, the person stays with me throughout the day.
Here's my question, O Wise Readers: do I contact the person to let them know they are "on my mind"? If it's a local or email person, I could contact them to let them know I'm praying for them.
I attempt to be gentle about prayer. I give the people I visit in the hospital the deciding vote on whether or not I pray for them by their bed. Maybe they are wild for me to get out of the room. Perhaps they want to hold on to their dignity and not cry about their situation and believe a prayer would unleash the tears. I don't know so I ask in a way that allows them to save face and tell me "no".
If I am out in the community and think a person may want prayer for their distress (illness, grief, worry about someone they love) I'll offer to pray with a gentle, "whatever you like.." so they can turn me down.
But what about the names or faces of people who jump into my mind? I pray for them but should I contact them? Geez, I hate being intrusive so this is a real issue. I can be quite the bulldog in other areas of my life so I want to be careful not to upset someone's nerves.
If someone called me up to tell me they were praying for me, I think I'd be delighted. Delighted unless they were praying that I would "get a clue" "come co-sign a bank loan for them" or that I'd come to my senses and give up the ministry because only men can be preachers. Those kind of prayers don't seem like prayers to me and appear to be manipulative.
How do you handle when the Spirit brings a name to your mind for prayer?