From Our Team

Bray Park Community Church

Words of thought from our Church Team

How to pray with others

I’ve done it many times. More times than I’d care to remember if I’m being honest. Picture the scene: I’m talking with someone and in the course of our conversation they share with me a burden, a need, or a grievance they have. And before I’m fully aware of what I’m saying I hear the words, “I’ll pray for you”, escape from my lips. Now of course I mean what I say; I do intend to pray for that person. It’s just that sometimes my intentions have failed to match my actions. Maybe you can relate?
 
My failure in such instances has convinced me of the need to not just offer to pray for someone (as great as that is), but to pray with them. Right there and then. The process isn’t that much more complicated or difficult. It just means when I feel God leading me to pray for someone, instead of telling them I will pray, I ask if I can pray right now: “Would you mind if I took a moment to pray for you?” 
 
Now, I know the idea of praying out loud with other people can scare many of us. But the truth is God is often waiting for us just outside our comfort zones. And God is with us when we pray (1 John 5:14–15). In fact, I think one of the greatest opportunities we have on a Sunday—in addition to singing praises to God, hearing from God’s Word and partaking in the sacraments—is to pray with and for one another. I hope (and pray) it can become a common sight after a Sunday service to look around and see many heads bowed and many arms outstretched in prayer. I also hope (and pray) that as we engage with people who don’t yet know Jesus, we’d be willing to step out in faith and offer to pray for them.
 
So, to help us towards that goal, here are seven simple suggestions from Kevin Harney’s book, Organic Outreach for Ordinary People, about how we can pray with and for others.
 
1.Keep your prayer brief: In most cases, a few minutes will be sufficient. 
2.Use common language: You don’t have to make your prayer flowery or profound. Let your words be conversational and natural.
3.Extend a hand if it is appropriate: If you feel it would be taken the right way, ask for permission to take the person’s hand or place your hand on their shoulder. There is power in touch.
4.Pray for the person’s specific need or joy: Focus your prayer on what they shared with you and don’t wander to other topics.
5.Pray in the name of Jesus: Make sure they know why we can come before God freely and why God hears our prayers—because of what Christ has done for us.
6.Check in to see how things are going: After a week or so, check in with the person and see if the need has been met. If it has, give God the glory. If not, keep praying.
7.Be sensitive to location and volume: Be aware of your surroundings and seek a little privacy if possible. Be aware of your volume; the only people who need to hear are you, the other person, and God.
 
God bless,
Adam
 
 
 
Ups and Downs
When God paints outside the lines

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