When someone is going through a hard time, or a problem or just a situation where they just need a little help and you tell them you will pray for them do you actually do it? I think sometimes we say we will pray for them and we think that is enough just to say it, as though God heard us mention we will do it and that is enough. In reality, we need to pray for each other specifically.
When we are having our 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. And we move on. I think sometimes we just don’t know what to say for that person in our prayers, maybe we don’t know the entire situation or who all is involved and honestly, we don’t need to know everything, it’s not our business. But 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.
The thing is 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.
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 pray for them to have a godly response to things that are happening to them. Ask God to show them what they need to do, to lead them down the right path and 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. These are not times to say, “I claim it, I believe it!” and let it go, no. If your friend is having a problem with their children/child pray for the child’s heart, pray for love and understanding and by all means pray for your friend as a parent. Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we are always right. Pray for wisdom and even a renewed relationship and above all pray for God’s will to be done.
I love it when people ask me to pray for them. I use to be afraid because I didn’t want to ask, “what do I pray for?” I didn’t want to be noisy, but it occurred to me that they just needed prayer and it helped me to develop this system. I knew where they worked, or what type of work they did and if they had children or a parent living with them that needed care so right there I had a lot to pray for. Just because I didn’t know the exact problem, didn’t mean I couldn’t be specific in my prayers.
When my mom was alive and someone asked her to pray for them she would say, “do you have 2 minutes to pray right now?” Sometimes the person was busy and just couldn’t stop, and the answer was no, but many times the answer was yes. If this is something you chose to do, choose your time wisely you could be in the parking lot after church, or just before church service or riding around doing your errands together or on the phone with them. Asking them to pray now, shows how much you care about your friend and your eagerness to help them.
When someone asks you to pray for them, do it. We all have 24 hours in a day and I say this because we shouldn’t be praying once a day. The Bible tells us in
I Thessalonians 5:17 to pray continuously or pray without ceasing.
So at some point during your day chose a time to 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. Then on 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 going to the bathroom, or taking a lunch break or walking back to work from our car, or on your ride home and even while you cook and with your children before bed. My point is you have available times to pray for that friend before you see or hear from them again. If you said you would pray for them don’t be mediocre like I use to be, it is a wonderful thing to bring your friend before God and stand in the gap for their needs.
photography by April Teesdale