When someone asks you to pray for them, do you actually do it? I think sometimes we say we will pray for people and we think that is enough just to say it, as though God heard us mention we will do it and that’s it. In reality, it isn’t. We need to pray for each other. If it is appropriate, we can pray with them in that moment. If you are on the phone, ask them if they have 2 minutes to pray now, and pray for them. Sit in your car, slip away to another room, or walk to a corner of a room. If they have time and so do you, take the time to pray with your friend.
When having your daily prayer, it’s not enough to just mention the person and keep going. For example: “and dear God I pray for Suzie and her situation, and God bless Anita and her family,” and so on. I think sometimes we just don’t know what to say so we simply mention them and keep going. What is important to know is that you don’t need to know what that person is going through to be able to adequately pray for them and maybe it isn’t your business to know. What is our business is standing in the gap for a friend, helping them by taking their problems before the Almighty King. If someone is asking for prayer they are saying, ~I can’t do this alone. They are asking for help and they are asking you.
You may not know if they are having financial difficulty, problems with their kids, maybe they are trying to get a better job, maybe there is tension with their spouse or they received news about a medical situation that isn’t going well. These are things that you cannot fix but these are things that you can pray for. I find that praying for wisdom for my friend usually starts the ball rolling in my prayers. If you don’t know what to say in your prayers, start by asking God to give your friend wisdom. This may seem like a simple prayer and it is, but it is powerful. The Bible tells us in
James 1:5 if any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (NIV)
God gives generously, isn’t that wonderful! Pray for God to give your friend wisdom to know how to handle and get through their situation whatever it may be. Pray for them to have a godly response to things that are happening in their life. Ask God to show them what they need to do, to lead them down the right path and above all pray for God’s will to be done in their life.
Now if you know a little about the situation then pray on a deeper level. If you know she is having money problems, pray God will give your friend wisdom and that she will be open to creating a budget, pray for mindfulness and self-control.
If your friend is having a problem with their children/child/teenager pray for the child’s heart, pray for love and understanding for discipline and by all means pray for your friend as a parent. Pray for God’s guidance with their child. Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we are always right. Pray for wisdom and even a renewed relationship between parent and child, and above all pray for God’s will to be done.
I love it when people ask me to pray for them. I used to be afraid because I didn’t want to ask, “what do I pray for?” I didn’t want to seem noisy, but it occurred to me that they just needed prayer and it helped me to develop this system. I knew what type of work they did, if they had children or a parent living with them that needed care so right there I had a lot to pray for. If I didn’t know specifically what to pray for, I prayed for everything, and when I finished I prayed for God’s will to be done in their life.
When someone asks you to pray for them, do it. We shouldn’t be praying once a day. The Bible tells us in I Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continually (NIV) or, pray without ceasing (KJV). So at some point during your day pray for your friend specifically. In the morning during your Bible time, maybe you pray for your family and success for their day and specific prayers for each of them. As your day goes on maybe during your car ride to work you pray for your coworkers or your friend specifically. There are times during the day when we are alone, even walking to the bathroom, or walking to another building, or another part of the building. What about on a lunch break or on your ride home and even while you cook and with your children before bed. There are plenty of times when you can pray for your friend. If you say you will pray for them, don’t be mediocre like I used to be and simply call out their name. Really pray for them. You don’t know what they may be going through inside. Talking to God about your friend is a wonderful way to stand in the gap for their needs.
Did you find this at all helpful? Please let me know in the comments below how you pray for others, especially when they ask.