A Prayer to Boldly Pray for Others
By Victoria Riollano
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16
“Can I pray for you?”
To be honest, as a pastor’s wife, this is a phrase that I say often. Over the years, these simple words have sparked me to pray for people’s health, their children, and their emotional wellness. Those that I thought “had it all together” were in desperate need of someone to simply stand with them in prayer. To this day, even when I was bold enough to pray for a stranger, I have never been declined when I asked this question.
Yet, recently, I asked this same question to a new church member.
“How can I pray for you?”
Admittedly, there was a long pause when she heard the question. I wondered would this be the first time my innocent question would be rejected? Instead, she replied with the most unexpected words,
“No one has ever asked to pray for me in my life.”
As I stood in front of a woman in her late 30s, who had been in church for almost a decade, I could not believe the words she had uttered. No one. Not one person. Not one friend. Not one pastor had ever taken a moment to simply pause and ask? I was baffled and discouraged. How could it be that she had interacted with so many church circles and never encountered the power of praying with a friend? Although her response broke my heart, it was a reminder that I quickly realized I was not innocent in this matter. I had been guilty of feeling the tugging of the Holy Spirit to pray for a person but politely declined to do so. I was either too intimidated to ask, too busy, or thought I didn’t have a relationship with the person to do so.
Here’s the truth. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray for people. He showed them how to pray with authority over illness, cast out demons, and talk to their Father in heaven. And right before Jesus was arrested, He pleaded with His disciples to pray for Him as He was about to face the most pivotal moment of His earthly life.
Matthew 26:40 says, “Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?’ He asked Peter. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’” (Berean Study Bible).
Jesus not only believed in the power of praying but the power of praying for one another. As believers, we cannot shy away from this part of our roles in the Body of Christ. We don’t need to be a pastor, ministry leader, or in Christ for long to pray with a friend or stranger. And truthfully, now more than ever, the world is searching for those who will have the compassion and discernment to see the needs of others and act on them. Prayer costs us nothing, but the profit can be endless. Let us never become too busy, prideful, or stubborn to pray for others.
Lord, I thank you that you trust me to pray for others. Although I am an imperfect being, standing in need of prayer myself, you choose to use me in this way. Forgive me when I have strayed away from praying out of fear of rejection. Help me not to take this for granted but to be humbled at the opportunity. God, I pray for boldness when you unction me to pray. Help me not become so wrapped up in who may see me, the person I am praying for, or the setting I am praying. Let me be a vessel to minister to others in prayer.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/pixelheadphoto
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of seven, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released a parenting book called Warrior Mother: Equipping Your Heart to Fight for Your Family’s Faith. This book empowers mothers to find strength in trusting the Lord with their children. Ultimately, her desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!
Now that you’ve prayed, are you in need of someone to pray for YOU? Click the button below!
Visit iBelieve.com for more inspiring prayer content.