Praying for Other People

In Christian circles the words, "I'll be praying for you," usually seem more of a gesture than a reality. They're what you say to someone who's having a difficult time, but that it doesn't mean you'll really be praying for them. I caught myself falling into that trap of emptily saying those words to make someone else fell better and realized that that's unacceptable. Despite the good intentions lining the 5-word phrase, then it becomes a lie.

So now, I try to be really careful if I tell someone, "I'll be praying for you," because that means I really am going to commit to praying for them. Probably not everyday, but I take that prayer request seriously. Sometimes though, when I've got a list of people I want to pray for, it can get kind of boring (is that sacrilegious to say?) with the "Lord, please be with so-and-so as she tries to figure out such-and-such." I know God hears my prayers and appreciates them, but couldn't there be more to it than that kind of limp prayer?

So a few months ago I decided that when I had a new prayer request for someone, that I'd turn to Scripture for the words to pray over their situation or need. I locate a Bible verse that seems fitting and pray that verse specifically for that person. Sure I can pray more if I want to, but this makes praying for other people manageable and helps me know what to say for them that I know aligns with God's Word.

For instance, there is a high school girl that I'm close to who I will be praying Ephesians 3:17 for: "I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in [her] heart as [she] trusts in you. May [her] roots go down deep into the soil of your marvelous love." For my friends who are trying to sell their house, I pray that "...your blessing be on the home of the upright." (Proverbs 3:33)

I am the first to admit that prayer isn't always as easy as it seems like it should be, so that's why I think it's good to have these kinds of "techniques" in place to help guide our hearts when we don't really feel like it.

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  1. A bible study I was in recently had a conversation about this. It is so easy to say we are praying for people, but that's a big promise to make. I like your tips to make the prayers more meaningful (and less boring).

  2. Thanks so much, Brittany! I'm glad my little ideas can be of some help/inspiration!


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