I.O.U Prayers (Poem)

I’ve thought on it awhile and I’ve decided this poem will be part of my book (still looking to publish by December 14 of this year). More than likely I’ll edit and edit it some more by then, but I was inspired after seeing a tweet on my timeline from someone asking for prayer. I thought about tweeting them, “Prayers going up!”

Then I thought, why not just pray for them instead?

I pray this poem is a blessing to those who read it and that it ministers to you.


6/18/14        I.O.U. PRAYERS

If I had a nickel for every time I said
“I’ll pray for you,”
Or every time I heard,
“I’ll pray for you,”
My God
I’d have a bank full of money

But a spiritual bank full of I.O.Us

Don’t act like you’ve never done it
Or haven’t been there

You know,
When encounter a certain person
And you feel
Awfully bad about their situation
You’re not exactly sure
What to say
Or how to respond
And yet they await your response
And the only thing you can think to say
“I’m sorry, I’ll pray for you.”

Then you go about your day
Usually forgetting all about that person
The one you ran into,
The one you said you’d pray for,


Excuse me
It gets to be hard keeping up
With who’s who
And who you promised what
With the handing
And passing
Of so many I.O.U. prayers

I.O.U. prayers…that’s what we give them
A prayer of earnest supplication
I prayed that God would do something
In YOUR life
And fulfill YOUR need
According to His will
A prayer of healing
Of peace
Of joy
Of restoration
Of deliverance
Of strength, endurance and hope

I.O.U. all so many,
So many prayers
But I was suppose I just didn’t have the time

Because I was busying using them for myself
And we should pray for ourselves
But where is the selflessness in us
To pray for one another?

The prayers of the righteous availeth much

If I am praying over my situation,
And you are praying with me
Vice versa
So on and so forth
My God,
What an IMPACT that would make

The sad thing is,
We have turned an action
Into a saying used for comfort
We don’t actually intend to PRAY for anyone
We just said it because
It was polite
And you should always be polite

Because, I mean,
It’s not like we actually…
And what did they expect from us anyway?
We’ve got our own problems to deal with.

But prayer is an action
And it requires action
If you pray to God
You do not expect Him to say
“Oh, I’m so sorry My child.
I’ll, uh…I’ll see about that.”
Then get left with no action at all.

Just as when you pray
And God responds
You don’t sit there and say,
“Well, I don’t know.
Let me pray on that some more.”
You act.

So why do we choose not to act?
Why have we turned an action
Into a shameful cliche?


I have started making a point
To pray
Whether someone asks it of me
Or not
I pray when I say they are in my prayers
Quite frankly
I will not be a hypocrite anymore
And I will not leave this earth
With a pocket full
Of I.O.U.’s

But nothing stored up for me
Because I produced no fruit on earth

Learn to go beyond yourself
What does it hurt to pray?
How long does it really take
For you to set aside just 30 SECONDS
Of your 24 hour day
And send up a request
On your brother and sister’s behalf?

And don’t forget
Someone was praying for you
Even when you didn’t have sense enough
To pray for yourself


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