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How to pray simple, effective prayers for others

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When asked, “Why should I pray for others?” my first response is, “because we all need it.” God gives us wisdom and leads us to pray for others.

The next question is often, “How do I pray for others?” We pray for whatever is on our hearts for them or if we know of a specific need they have.

Praying for someone is called intercessory prayer. It is how we stand in the gap for someone and seek God’s help on their behalf.

Merriam-webster defines intercessory prayer as “the act of interceding” or using prayer to ask a favor for someone else. 

We simply come into god’s presence during our daily prayer time, or anytime really, and ask God to intervene in their situation.

woman praying

True Story

“I wanted to call and tell you before you hear from someone else, don’t worry, I’m ok.” These are the words no mom wants to hear over the phone from her child.

However, it is exactly what my son said when he called to tell me he had wrecked his motorcycle last week.

I knew he and a few of his friends were going on a five-hour ride that day, and before I ever got out of bed, I had prayed for God to watch over them, protect them and keep them safe. 

My son told me his throttle stuck, causing his motorcycle to gain speed and him to lose control when he hit loose gravel. Then he sent me pictures of his motorcycle in the ditch in the middle of a bunch of large rocks.

All I could do was thank God for keeping him safe!

Why should we pray for others?

Prayer is both a privilege and a responsibility. We should pray for others because Jesus and the Holy Spirit pray for us.

Prayer is the seventh piece of armor and how we battle against spiritual warfare.

Ephesians 6:18 "Pray in the spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for believers everywhere."
Romans 8:34 "Christ Jesus who died - more than that, who was raised to life - is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."
Romans 8:26 tells us, "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."

We should pray on behalf of others because Jesus tells us to.

1 Timothy 2:1 "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them."

Who should we pray for?

Most of the time, when you want to pray for someone, it is a family member. You love them and only want what is best for them.

You want their lives to be blessed. You want them to feel God’s love and experience His power and presence.

As a parent, you want your children to have a better life than you have. You want them to have loving and faithful spouses, nicer homes, better jobs, and less stress.

However, sometimes our children do not make the best decisions. We know God is a loving Father. He loves them more than we do.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 for how do I pray for someone post

But when they make decisions that go against the word of God, they must face those consequences.

It hurts our hearts if our children are going through a difficult time. That is different when they go through a hard time because of deliberate sin.

This is another reason we need to pray for others – sin. Not because we are perfect. We are far from it. We pray for others because it is our job as their sister in Christ.

James 5:19-20 "My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins."

We need to pray for their hearts to be open to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. We pray they will turn their hearts back to Christ, confess their sins, and be restored in their walk with Him.

Others we should pray for

Of course, we will pray for our families, but we must also pray for others.

Colossians 1:9 "And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,"

We need to pray for those in our “circle.” Friends, neighbors, coworkers, church members, our pastor, missionaries, the lost, local leaders, state leaders, and other government leaders.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity." (NLT)

Our prayer list can get pretty long. We want to pray for our own needs, of course, but at the end of the day, many people need to experience god’s love, mercy, and grace. They need to have a personal relationship with the Almighty God.

Praying for someone who is going through a hard time

When we know someone is going through a hard time, we want to help but may not know how. The best thing we can do for anyone is to pray for them.

We may not know their deepest needs, but God does. We don’t know the condition of their spiritual life, but God does.

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane because of what he was facing. He was stressed and did not want to endure the pain of the cross.

Still, because of his great love for us, he prayed for the will of God to be done over his own.

This is the right way to pray. We come before God’s throne of grace and lift up those we know are having a hard time.

We ask God to meet them in their time of need. We ask for God’s power to work in their lives.

Jeremiah 32:17 "O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!" (NLT)

How do I pray for others who have hurt me?

This is so hard. When someone hurts us, our first instinct is to turn away from them. We want to run in the opposite direction or get them back.

However, the Bible tells us to pray for our enemies.

Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus says, "But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven."

That is hard to do, honestly. When someone hurts us, praying for them is the last thing on our minds.

That is one reason we are told to have the mind of Christ. We use our spiritual armor, the Helmet of Salvation.

But what if the person who hurt you is someone you love? What if it is your spouse, child, parent, or close friend?

How do we work through those feelings, disappointment, and pain?

I don’t know about you, but having children has taught me more about God’s grace and helped me understand the Bible better than any Sunday School lesson or sermon I’ve ever listened to.

It is only because of the grace, mercy, and forgiveness God has shown me in my worst moments that I can forgive others.

You see, no matter what my children do, I will always love them.

We may not like what they do, and their decisions may break our hearts, but we will always love them.

Even when we are not living as we should, we are not making the best decisions; God loves us because he is a loving Father.

He doesn’t turn His back on us when we make mistakes or act like spoiled brats. Just read about the children of Isreal in the Old Testament.

Important prayer points when praying for others

As Christians, we must pray for others to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

The most important thing is for people to be saved. We want them to know God’s love and the healing power of God’s mercy and grace in their lives.

Next, we want to pray for them to know God’s will for their lives and follow Him.

Spiritual wisdom is knowing God’s will. Spiritual maturity is praying like Jesus “not my will but yours be done.”

Pray for the prodigal sons and daughters who have left the faith. Ask our Father God to work in a mighty way in their lives.

Prayer Example

Father God, I thank you and praise you for who you are. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords; I know nothing is too hard for you. Thank you for your forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

I confess my sins to you. I know there are times I have been prideful and unforgiving of others, selfish, and demanding my own way. There are times I could have shown kindness and didn’t.

My thoughts are not always in line with your word, and my words are not always pleasing to you. Please forgive me for failing you. I want to live for you, Lord; I want my life to please you.

Dear Lord, I have so many prayer requests to bring to you. There are people who are not saved and need to know your love. Their eternal life is in jeopardy because they don’t know you.

People who are hurting need to experience your healing power for their hearts, minds, and emotions. I lift up those who are not in good health and need physical healing.

The young people going the wrong way and need your leadership and guidance. Please send someone into their lives who will love them, be a mentor to them, and point them to you.

Father, I bring my family to you and ask, in the name of Jesus, for you to please move and work in their lives.

I know my fight is not against flesh and blood but is a spiritual battle. Strengthen me, Lord, to fight the good fight and to stand firm in my faith.

Help me to see others through your eyes and love them with your father’s heart of love.

Please guard our minds against all the impure thoughts and lies the enemy would try to have us believe.

Guard our eyes so we are fully focused on you; guard our ears, so we do not hear the enemy’s lies. Instead, open our minds and ears to know your will and hear your voice of truth.

Please keep our mouths from speaking evil of anyone. Keep us from telling lies, crude jokes, hurtful words, or anything that lead others away from you.

Guard our hearts, Lord. You tell us to “Guard our heart above all else, for it determines the course of our lives.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Lord, I want my life and the lives of my family to always follow you and be pleasing to you. Help us to always walk in your way and not fall away. Give us wisdom, guidance, and strength to know and follow your will for our lives. Let our lives lead others to you.

Father, sometimes I get so caught up in my day-to-day life I don’t realize the opportunities in front of me. Please open my spiritual eyes, Lord.

I lift up those who have hurt me. It feels like they are my enemies, but I know, in truth, they are not. Please heal the hurt in my heart and help me forgive them as you would have me to.

O Lord, you are the God of all comfort and know the needs of others I am unaware of. I lift them up to you and ask in Jesus’ name that you please meet them where they are, move and work in their lives to draw them to you. Help them to trust in you and let them see your deliverance in their lives and situations.

You say in your word that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person availith much.” I am your child, washed in the precious blood of Jesus, and I wear his cloak of righteousness. Let my prayers go straight to your heart and cause you to move in a mighty way in the lives of others.

I lift up our leaders, Lord. You have blessed us by allowing us to live in the greatest country in the world, yet there is so much heartache, pain, and suffering because of sin. O God, I pray for my country.

I lift up those who are in charge of making decisions. Let them be men and women who trust in you and want to live for you. Give them wisdom, Lord, to know how you would have them vote and lead our country, then give them the strength and courage to follow through. Place your hedge of protection around them.

We know the enemy roams around like a roaring lion seeking who he can devour. He is here to steal, kill, and destroy, and we see evidence of that every day. Dear God, please protect those in leadership positions who love and trust you.

Protect my family and friends. Lord, I lift up our spiritual leaders in all churches as well. Strengthen them, Lord, pour your spirit into them, and give them godly wisdom and courage to boldly preach your word in truth without fear.

Let our churches be a place of refuge for lost and hurting people, leading them to you. Help us to open our eyes to the needs of others and be real, Lord.

There is so much pressure from the world, like social media, to be perfect or at least make others believe we are perfect and have it all together. Lord, you know we don’t. You know our sins, our weaknesses, and our struggles.

My heart’s desire is to live for you in every area of my life and be used by you. Give us the courage to reach out to others, to acknowledge their pain, depression, anxiety, abuse, or whatever they are dealing with. Help us to meet them where they are, just like you did with the woman at the well and with us.

Help us to love others the way you love us.

Please protect and bless us, Lord. Please bless my family. I pray that my husband, my children, their spouses, my grandchildren, and their spouses now and for all generations to come will love you with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength. I pray they will love mercy and walk humbly with you.

Thank you, Lord, for hearing and answering my prayers. I thank you that I can come to you anytime and pour out my heart. I can trust you because I know your plans for us are good.

I give this day to you and pray your will be done. In Jesus’s name, I pray, Amen!

prayer request and answered prayer pages
Use these beautiful pages to keep track of your prayer requests and answered prayers for others!

If this post has blessed you, please share it with others.

I would love to hear back from you about the things you pray for or any verses you use in your prayer time. So leave a comment below, and let’s encourage each other in our prayer lives.



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