How to Pray for Your Friends
Talking to your friends about Jesus doesn’t have to be complicated. Being creative in the way you talk about Jesus with your friends is great, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Why not pray together?
All of us have moments when we need help. Problems and stress creep into our lives. Study can become overwhelming, health issues come up, relationships become challenging. These are defining moments in our lives that we need to reach out beyond ourselves and ask for help.
If you have a friend who is going through tough times you might think the answer is to spend time with them, listen and help.
And yes, you should absolutely do that.
But on top of that, you should offer to pray with them. Notice the word ‘with’. In these moments it’s tempting to say “I’m praying for you” and pray for them in your own time (or even forget to). It’s far more powerful to pray with them, right there in the moment.
It’s one thing to care for and help carry your friend’s burden. It’s another thing to lead them personally to the only One who can handle all of our burdens.
Think of it like this. Imagine meeting a man in the desert who was dying of thirst. You know of a nearby oasis so you walk an entire kilometre to get there, fill a cup with water and walk it back to him. This helps him a lot, so you do the same thing the next day, and then again the next, and so on.
Carrying that cup of water to that man every day is certainly helping – but the best thing to do is lead the man directly to the oasis itself.
Lead your friend to the very Jesus who will lift their burdens by offering to pray with them, not just for them. Praying with someone transfers the burden of solving their problems from you to Jesus. It also invites them into a spiritual journey with Jesus by giving him the opportunity to address their needs in a personal way. People are more open to prayer and spiritual conversations than you think. Often they just need to be shown the way.
A common coaching technique that is used to help people take on new skills is:
- Watch me do it.
- Let’s do it together.
- I’ll watch you do it.
- You do it alone.
Adapt this technique when praying with your friend. The first time, offer to pray right there, in the moment, so they can see what it looks like and hear the language you use. They’ll pick up a lot just from watching.
Next time, rather than just offering to pray yourself, you can invite them to pray also, saying something like, ‘I’ll start, but why don’t you say something as well,’ encouraging them that it’s powerful when they articulate their concerns. Give them lots of encouragement.
When you feel like they’re on the journey take the next step and encourage them to pray on their own and emphasise that it doesn’t have to be just when you’re around, they can do it anytime they like.
Check in with them from time to time, and if they are praying, ask them if they’ve noticed God working in their life. Chances are he is, and you can help them explore that.
So, don’t hold back – next time a friend shares a struggle with you, that’s your open door to offer to pray with them, right there and then.
Article supplied with thanks to The Journey by yesHEis.
About the Author: yesHEis provides various resources to help share your faith in relatable ways.