Practically Praying for Others

Yesterday we went over 10 practical things to do when praying for others.  This list is by no means exhaustive, but it covers the fundamentals of how to honor God and others when we are ministering within the church or on the streets.

1 |  Ask "what would you like me to pray for?"  Listen well.  Most people recieve care and ministry the best when they feel cared for, listened to, and known. 

2 |  "May I put my hand on your shoulder?"  This usually isn't as big of a deal when praying with someone of the same sex.  However, if you don't have a strong relationship with someone that you are praying for, it's alway best to ask permission rather than assume.  Regarding prayer with someone of the opposite sex, you should always try to bring in someone else to pray with you if possible.  General rule of thumb. if it’s not your wife, grab another woman to pray to pray with you.  If that woman is married, honor her husband and ask him if it would be ok to pray over her and have him join you.  Honor is key.

3 |  Pray with your eyes open.  Look for signs of the Holy Spirit working – emotion or facial expressions, crying, fluttering eyes, warmth.   Pray for the need requested before moving on to something else.  Don’t just recap their request and go through all the details again in your prayer time.  The Lord knows that person's situation and so does that person!  Just ask your loving Father directly for what they need.   Hebrews 4:14-16:

[14] Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. [15] For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. [16] Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

4 |  Silence is Okay!  Wait for the Lord.  This is when I am usually reminded of a scripture or an encouragement, or a picture.  Often times we drown out the voice of the Lord because we just keep talking and praying what we think should be prayed, rather than what the Lord is wanting to say or do in that moment.

5 |  Seek guidance from the Lord as you are quiet.  Take your time.  God is not in a hurry so neither should we.  "Lord what are you doing?"  This is huge!  Even better when the church does it together because the body gets to operate as intended.

6 |  Share scripture, thoughts, or visions as they come.  Don't say, "God told me..."  Rather you should say, "I feel like the Lord is saying?"  We are not the Lord.  We don't hear, see, or sense spiritual things perfectly.  We always want the Holy Spirit to be the voice of conviction, encouragement, or guidance... not us.

7 |  Continue to pray until you feel released, or that the spirit instructs you to stop. Remember the feeling when we pray and the waters calm and the spiritual environment changes and you sense peace.  Often times we stop praying when we're on the edge of breakthrough.  Don't be like the guy that swims 3/4 of the way there, thinks he can't make it any further, then swims back.

8 |  If nothing seems to emotionally take place in the moment, it is okay.  God does something whether or not we "feel it."  Every prayer counts!  If we sow to the spirit, we shall reap from the spirit.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says:

[10] “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
[11] so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

9 |  Pray Scripture over them.  Even if nothing specific comes to mind that might be unique for their situation, think of any verse that you love and pray it over them. Open you bible and read a Psalms over them.  Pray anything from the Word confidently because all of it's promises are yes and amen in Christ.

10 |  Follow up on what you see or hear.  Ask questions like: "How do you feel?"  "Are you encouraged?" "Do you want to continue praying?"  "Did you sense anything from the Lord?"  Above all else, always finish with them feeling loved.  Remember 1 Corinthians 13:2.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.