The day I wrote most of the following, I had the urge to ask someone if I could pray with them (at that moment). Pray with them, not just for them, about concerns weighing heavily on their heart. For some reason, I felt awkward about extending this offer of prayer and instead offered to include them in my prayers.
After they left, I reflected on that moment and was disappointed in myself. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer and that God hears and answers prayers, but I’d missed the opportunity to share that understanding one on one.
There are several benefits to praying with someone, rather than just for them. First, in praying with someone, we step out of our shells and open our hearts to their needs; by doing so, we display Christ’s love for them through the prayer. We show compassion and real interest in their situation as we demonstrate our faith and trust in God’s ability to help them and build a closer relationship with that person. Christians care about others!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Praying for others is good; praying with and, for others, even more so!
I have been asked personally from time to time, “Can we pray about this?“ as I shared concerns. I’ve also been told impactful stories of how such an unexpected prayer moment inspired a person to begin a dramatic change in their life and move towards Christ.
For all the above reasons and many more, I believe there is a lot of good in praying with others and making such prayer a habit. It’s one I hope to develop more fully.
In Acts chapter 4, the disciples prayed for boldness. As I grow stronger in Christ, I pray God will help me overcome any hesitations, great or small, and that I will serve Christ with all boldness.
If I never make a difference, it won’t be because I didn’t try!
- James 5:16-18
- Ephesians 6:19
- Ephesians 5:2
- John 13:34
- 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11