How to Pray for OthersJuly 25, 2013
Years ago on older gentleman asked me to pray for him. He said, “Preacher, pray until you break through. Pray until you can feel the presence of God. Pray until you cross over into another world; and when you finally get there, then pray for me.”
The single-greatest thing you can do for any person is call their name before a Living God. We all know it is our duty to pray for others; but many times we struggle with how to pray. If we are not careful, we can approach God with a long list of names and circumstances and really never intercede.
The apostle Paul helps us tremendously in the first chapter of Colossians. Although Paul had never been to that particular church, he wanted them to know he was praying for them. He proceeded to tell them HOW he was praying for them. In doing so, he gave us a model; we would be wise to follow.
1. Pray for their Wisdom
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;” Colossians 1:9
The greatest thing any person can ever experience is living in the perfect will of God. Therefore, the greatest thing you can do for any person is to pray that God’s will would be clearly known. Oftentimes we ask God to help others in the wrong areas; I find this especially true with family and loved ones. Instead of praying for success, wealth, health, and prosperity, ask God to give them insight and clarity for His direction and plan; from His perfect will comes all the other blessings of life.
2. Pray for their Walk
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;” Colossians 1:10
Imagine the impact you could have on someone’s life if you started praying for their walk with God. Specifically, Paul prayed their walk would be pleasing unto the Lord, and productive for the Lord. He wanted their walk to leave behind footprints that resembled the Lord Jesus Christ. When you pray for someone’s walk you are ultimately praying that their life would stay in stride with Christ.
3. Pray for their Weaknesses
“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;” Colossians 1:11
The fact that Paul asked God to strengthen his friends implied that they had some weaknesses. The word “might’ in this verse is dunamis in the Greek. It speaks of the inherent power of God. Most of the time when you see this word is speaks of an external manifestation of God’s power (parting of the Red Sea, bread from heaven, shutting the mouths of lions, etc). But Paul asked God to reveal His “dunamis” power internally, so that patience, longsuffering, and joyfulness would be known. He did not pray for God to deliver them out of their trial, but rather that God would develop and strengthen them in the trial.
What a difference we could make in the lives of others if we prayed with that intent. Instead of asking God to remove your friends from their trouble, ask God to strengthen your friends in the midst of their trouble. The result will be an internal work of patience, longsuffering, and joy.
4. Pray for their Worship
Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:” Colossians 1:12
Finally pray for their worship life. Consider this natural process:wisdom gives more clarity for their walk. Their walk will help their weaknesses. And from their weaknesses is worship produced. We can give people our money, counsel, time, recommendation, and blessings, but we give them nothing greater than when we give them our prayers. Think of it this way: when God does a work of grace in the lives of others He just might be honoring your requests.