When you get to be my age, this is a question you usually don’t ask much anymore. If you’re asked the question, expect a long drawn out answer which you had no intention or the hours required to hear.
In the world today, we can post an emoji to show how we feel, without going into a lot of detail. Sometimes those emoji tell it all and it takes no time to spill your true feelings. You may have a plethora of emoji which indicate a true state of confusion. However, we are not a people of little, yellow, round faces with various emotions pasted on them. At least not yet.
Getting older, as I and most of my friends are, when asked, “how are you doing?” the answers can be as simple as, “I’m still horizontal,” or “Still standing.” They can be as witty as “At least I’m above ground.” If you’re told, “It’s good to see you,” you can always respond with, “It’s better to be seen than viewed.”
Enough of the silly comebacks. If we were to really tell someone how we feel, we would need more than a few hours to describe everything that’s going on in our lives. Most of the time, we’re afraid to ask for that very reason. No one really wants to know how you’re doing.
When this phrase was first spoken, it must’ve been in all sincerity. The person asking would wait for a response, perhaps because the person had been in poor health before their meeting. I assume as time went by and people got tired of enduring the long answers, it just developed into a catch phrase and eventually wound up becoming the slang, “How ya doin’,” which is more like a simple greeting today.
These words have gone by the wayside and seem almost uncaring and meaningless. The same can be true of the phrase, “I’ll pray for you.” How often have you said that as a catch phrase or cop out for someone who is going through difficulty? How many times have you sincerely prayed for that person? How many have stopped what they were doing to actually pray with that person?
When we throw words around, they should have something solid to support behind them. In all our prayers and petitions, we should be sincere and honest with those we are praying for, otherwise it becomes another meaningless set of words.
Prayer is our communication with God. This has been granted to us by the work Jesus did and what the Holy Spirit continues to do within us. This gift is our way to go directly to the source with all our needs and cares. We need to mean it when we say, “I’m praying for you.”
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7