How to pray for others?
How to pray for others?
May 31, 2017
Very often our prayers are self centered. There is nothing wrong in praying for ourselves. But if we stop there, we are not fulfilling God’s commandments. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31) The greatest way you can show love to your neighbor is by praying for them. James says in 5:16, “pray for one another” and Paul in Ephesians 6:18 asks us to be praying with “supplications for all the saints”. Clearly, there is a command and a pressing need to be praying for others. So much so that you would want to spend every moment of the day on your knees. It makes you realize the urgency and practicality in Paul’s words to the Thessalonians, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
The need for prayer, prayer for others around us, is such a compelling and indisputable reality. The question is, are we aware of the need? If so, what are we doing about it? Today, I’m going to share with you some things to consider while praying for others and some practical ways in which to pray for others.
So many dear ones around us may be hurting and in need but choose to hide their reality, because it might make them vulnerable or they think they can’t confide in us. A simple “How can I pray for you?” will go a long way. You won’t know what and how to pray for them unless you ask. But don’t ask with the intentions of prying, only ask if you are genuinely going to say a prayer for them.
There is some level of work involved, when we pray for others. You might need to invest your time, lend a listening ear and express your genuine devotion and love. But whatever you do, don’t assume. What I mean by that is, never assume what a person’s need for prayer is. Like I said before, ask how you can pray for them. And if you can’t ask what their need for prayer is, then ask for God’s will to be done in their life.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss” (James 4:3) We may not know the underlying issue. It might be a need for healing, repentance, forgiveness, emotional or physical need. So it’s safe not to assume what you think is best for them and ask “thy will be done”. Don’t worry if your prayer is vague, the “Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)
How many times have you told someone in the hallway, or at work or in the parking lot, “I will pray for you” and totally forgot about it later. I’m guilty of it too. The best way to overcome this is to have a sticky note, or the notes app on your phone to make a quick note. Later, make sure you transfer it to your prayer journal. If you don’t have a prayer journal, I encourage you to start one now. It is the best way to pray for others, because it’s easier to pray for others while looking at a prayer note than recollecting 10 or 15 prayer points from memory. (I know I can’t 🙂 )
Praying for others not only involves people, but also ministries, churches, organization and governments. You might be supporting a ministry or an organization through monetary help or prayer. Usually they have a newsletter that has prayer requests or email updates. Subscribe to those lists so you know how you can be praying for those ministries. A lot of times, they also include praise section, so it might be encouraging to see your prayers being answered! Win – Win.
I pray that this post might serve you well and that your ministry of praying for others might be strengthened and blessed.
For more encouragement on prayer I’ve curated some great posts on cultivating a prayer discipline, how to create a Prayer journal and more. Follow my Pinterest board here!
I enjoy learning from God’s word, it amazes me, the wisdom and treasures of God and the way He reveals them to me day after day in a profound manner. In this space I share with you what I’ve learnt through my time with the Word. I earnestly believe that learning alone isn’t sufficient but walking in the word is crucial in a believer’s life. As much as I desire to walk in the word, it’s not always easy. My hope is to encourage you, my dear friend, in your walk with God with words that He has used to strengthen my own walk with Him.