Every Christian prays for those she loves and cares about. Yet it’s easy to fall into a pattern of praying for the temporal things in the lives of those we cherish. It doesn’t take much thought to ask God to bless people financially or to resolve their health concerns.
We can soon find ourselves praying in a routine sort of way for family and friends looking for places to live, selecting colleges, or seeking jobs.
Then there are our habitual prayers for the daily little things in life—parking places, bargains, our children to nap well, safety for one more day.
God’s faithful servant Paul shows us a more significant way to pray for those we know and love. It’s far from what could be called a prayer for health, wealth, and happiness.
Paul prays for his beloved friends—a prayer for spiritual knowledge and discernment, sincerity and integrity, acceptance of what is godly and holy, and lives filled with righteousness. And by the way, these are not just topics to cover in your prayers for others. These are mature issues to lift up for yourself too.
Praying for Others
Here are six things we can pray, dear friend and sister in Christ, for others and ourselves:
- Pray that we learn the discipline of lifting our thoughts and our prayers, our aims and our lives, heavenward, upward, far above and beyond that which is routine and mundane.
- Pray that we become stronger women of prayer—with regular, daily, unhurried, secret lingering in prayer.
- Pray that others will be encouraged by knowing we pray for them...and by knowing what we pray for them.
- Pray we will pray as Paul did, using the sweet-but-packed wisdom found in Philippians 1:9-11 as our guide to praying for others.
- Pray our lives will bring great glory and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ and God, our Father; that our lives will be filled with the fruits of righteousness.
- Pray that the fruit in our lives will be abundant and spill forth, blessing others and reflecting well on our Savior.
When we love people, we can’t help but pray for them because we carry them in our hearts. Start by praying these above six ways to pray and then build upon them from there.
Every prayer you lift up for your friends and for others who are placed on your heart reaches God’s ears and heart. Ask Him to use His power, might, strength, and wisdom to help the people you care about.
God, lead my focus away from temporal items. Give me a vision for those things that are eternal and of spiritual importance. And when I pray for others, help me be sincere and faithful. Amen.
Prayers to Calm Your Heart: Finding the Path to More Peace and Less Stress by Elizabeth George—This beautifully designed gift book is part practical, part inspirational, and altogether essential to keep worry and runaway fear in check. It's a welcome gift to give at any time on any occasion.
Email or text several friends this week to ask how you can pray for their needs.
Why not write a few words of hope and comfort to a loved one who needs encouragement? Or call someone who needs God’s peace and pray with him or her. And share spiritual insights from God’s Word.
Ask God to help you and the people in your life develop “spiritual eyes” for seeing and understanding your riches and blessings in Jesus Christ.