A few weeks ago, I posted a blog all about ‘What is intercessory prayer?’ and we explored what intercessory prayer is, and why we do it. Be sure to check out that blog post if you haven’t already then head back here as we dig further into this topic and explore the how. How do we do this? How do we go about praying for other people?
You can also check out a video from our YouTube channel all about intercessory prayer here:
Well, I have 4 top tips that I think will really help us as we are praying for other people. Whether you are praying alone, in a group, during church intercessions, or leading a prayer meeting; these tips will help you in how you approach any time of praying for other people.
4 tips for praying for other people
Do your research
It would be very arrogant of us to assume that we know everything there is to know about all of the situations we want to pray for around the world. It can be so easy for us to assume that we know what the best outcome would be for a certain situation. It might seem obvious. But there are so many things that we might not know. We might not understand the culture of the people involved. We may not understand (or even know about) the underlying political climate. We may not know what has happened in someone’s past.
A little caveat: it is ok for us to bring a situation before God, and just pray for his will to be done. Or to pray for simple things that we know to be true: for people’s safety, for an end to violence, for people to come to know or draw closer to God. But if we want to pray specifically into a situation, we need to find out what we can about the situation.
We can do this in a few different ways. We can engage with the news – following TV broadcasts, reading up about a situation, listening to radio debates. We can go directly to the people involved and ask them what they are praying for, and what they would like us to pray for them. And this could look like talking to people we know, or it could look like subscribing to prayer letters and updates from charities that are working in a particular area for example.
When you are praying for other people, you can be confident in your prayers. We know from the Bible that nothing is impossible with God. Your prayers are never too big, never too complicated. They’re never too far-fetched, and they’re never too tricky for God.
Whilst we may not get the answer we want God hears our prayers. So, let’s approach him with confidence knowing just how powerful, just how sovereign he is over all the Earth. Don’t underestimate God’s abilities.
Whilst we know that God hears our prayers and is capable of all things, we should approach him with humility as well as confidence. Because it is true that God may not answer our prayers in the way that we want, in the way that we are expecting, or in the way that we are desperately crying out for. He may not heal our friend. He may not bring an end to war this year, or next year. This is an incredibly difficult truth to understand because it seems so simple to us: of course God wants all people to be healed, of course God wants peace, of course God wants us all to be happy.
We have to trust that God works for our good in every situation. We have to trust that he knows what is best for us.
We should also approach God with humility because, as sinners, we do not deserve anything. God doesn’t owe us anything. He has already done so much for us and given us far more than we could ever deserve in Jesus Christ. Every prayer that God answers, is an incredible gift of his grace to us.
Seek God’s glory, not your own
When we are praying for other people, our ultimate aim should be to bring glory to God. We are not praying for our friend to be healed so that we can claim we had anything to do with it, but so that people will see God’s amazing, healing power. As Christians, we do not boast in our own power and abilities, but in God’s power. When we approach our prayers, we should come with this mindset of seeking God’s glory, looking for God’s love and God’s power to be seen by even more people and for more people to come to know him.
So, those are my 4 top tips for how you can go about praying for other people. Who are you praying for right now? Let us know in the comments and we can all intercede for each other!
Other blog posts you might enjoy!
- Prayers for the Persecuted Church
- How should Christians respond to a crisis?
- 3 ways to pray more specifically