I met someone new last week. As we exchanged some pleasantries, he shared about a major life transition, career change and move, he and his family have recently been through. We only chatted around five minutes, but before we ended I asked if I could pray with him.
Lies We Believe About Praying With Others
It is interesting how offering to pray with someone can feel uncomfortable. This man in this interaction just transitioned from being an executive pastor of a church. But, even though we would think he would believe in prayer, we hesitate for fear of looking prideful making this kind of request. It feels like we are saying we have something they don’t, and we don’t want to appear hyper-religious.
This shows a misconception we have about prayer. We don’t offer to pray because we are better than the other person; we just happened to remember in our conversation that God has good things to give them. In our offer to pray, we remember that prayer activates life in us, creates a flow of the Holy Spirit, and releases hope in our situations because prayer reminds us that God is still at work.
In the midst of a group of other people, I prayed for my new friend. He thanked me for praying and shared an encouragement someone else gave him that related to what I prayed. I left the interaction encouraged and believe he did too.
More People Want Prayer Than We Realize
This weekend I went with my family on a hike in the mountains. It was a longer hike than normal and a much more difficult climb. At one point we came to an intersection in the trail where one branch would go to an overlook of the start. My wife and kids chose to rest while I satisfied my curiosity about how far we came.
I jogged down this trail alone and came to a couple women resting on that part of the trail. We said our hellos as they directed me to where the trail continued. I continued on to see the overlook.
On the way back, I mentioned to those women how close they were to the overlook. They thanked me but said one of them was feeling pain in her arm because of a recent surgery. As politely as I could, I asked if I could pray for her arm. She said she believed in prayer and would appreciate it.
Make the Most of Every Opportunity
There in the woods, I thanked Jesus for this woman and ask Him to remove the pain. It wasn’t anything elaborate, nor did I try to push her to believe like I did before praying. It was a simple attempt to show concern and attempt to release a touch from God for her.
As I wished her and her friend well, she was wiping away a few tears. I left encouraged that God would use a simple act of faith to make a positive impact. I do try to pray with people often and try to listen for places where it would encourage someone with prayer. It may be a co-worker, friend, someone at church, or wherever. People are hungry for a touch from God.
Let’s Take the Initiative to Pray With Others
I wanted to share these experiences to show how easy it can be to give people a positive interaction with Jesus. I have found must people are fine with you praying with them, even if they don’t believe in God. It is a simple, non-threatening way to express His love to others. And, it has the added benefit of also releasing the power of God into their lives.
Continue to pray for others in your personal time with God, but also look for opportunities to pray with others. You never know what new friends you may make out of this.
Thank you for sharing your experiences of praying with people. They are very inspiring. Sadly, I have not gotten the same positive response from people. And I am often left feeling dejected and like I just overstepped my bounds of their comfort zones, even with my family, who are believers, too. I truly believe in the power of prayer and want to pray first for everything that comes along. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong that turns people off, or what. My mom asked a woman at Walmart, last week, if she could pray for her for something she is going through, and the woman was very appreciative. They didn’t pray together, since the woman is the greeter or checker for people wearing face-masks as they enter the store, but God answered my mom’s prayers for the woman, and the woman recognized it as God acting. But I really want to be used by God. I know He often gives me feelings of unrest or distress for some unknown person and to pray for them sometimes. I never know who I am praying for, and what the situation is, but I can tell at least a category, whether it be a person’s mental or physical health, like their body being in danger, or they might end their lives because of Depression or something, or their soul being in danger. I do listen and pray for however long the feelings last. I rarely ever find out who the person is, though. There was only one time I found out who the person was, and it was truly a miracle God worked through my praying. I still feel greatly honored and privileged that God would use me for the woman, when my sister knew her better than I did. And my sister is a real prayer warrior, too, which makes it even more surprising that God would use me. But I still get discouraged when people don’t want to be prayed for. What advice would you give to me?
From one Rachel to another, pray for them anyway, even if you can’t do it with them.