Praying with others — Expanding Prayer Possibilities. © Jim Found 2009
These ideas are meant to help you when people ask you to pray for them.
2. Listen Sufficiently. Be careful not to begin to pray or respond before the person has completely communicated what the actual prayer request is.
|Example: a person asked for prayer for his hearing. After praying for his ears, the well-meaning Christian asked if there was any improvement. The first person answered, “I don’t know – my hearing is not scheduled until next Thursday.”|
3. Good to use first name of person.
4. Go together to God as Problem solver (not you). Your purpose is not to give advice, but rather to encourage the person in faith.
5. Praying in faith, with thanksgiving, is a good way to demonstrate faith. By thanking, we show that we already believe God will hear and respond. Note that thanksgiving is included in Phil 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
6. Your Source of Authority? You may doubt that you are qualified to help the person by praying. Well, you are not qualified. Neither is the person who has the request. But that’s OK, because Jesus is qualified, and you both then have no choice but to rely on him. That is part of the meaning of that phrase “in Jesus’ name,” as where Jesus says in John 14:14: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
|The phrase “in the name of Jesus” can be compared to the phrase a policeman might use, “stop in the name of the law.” The policeman may not have enough physical strength to stop a truck, but the driver knows that the full authority of the government will come upon him if he does not comply with the request. In prayer, we do not rely on our own strength or worthiness, but believe that the full strength of God comes to bear when we pray. Another explanation is that even though we do not deserve to get our prayers answered, Jesus deserves it for us.|
7. Praying in line with God’s will. 1 John 5:14 says: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” If we do not know what God’s will is in a given instance, we then would not know if we have what we have asked. But to find out God’s will in a general way, we can fall back on two types of Bible verses: God’s Laws and God’s Promises. These both are clear indications of God’s will. If we find a law or promise that fits the situation, we can rephraise it into a prayer. We know that prayer will be according to God’s will.
The value of the promises is shown in 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
8. Examples of promises:
Hebrews 13:5. I will never leave you, I will never forsake you. A prayer based on this promise would be, “Thank you that you will never forsake us.”
1 John 5:13. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Romans 8:28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
2 Cor 12:9. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
1 Cor 10:13. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
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