By praying with friends, you will be able to hear and see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived. –Tim Keller
“How can I pray for you?”
To some, this seems like a simple question. Yet for others, it is intimidating. Maybe someone has asked you this question before and you didn’t know how to answer. Maybe you wished they’d never asked it in the first place.
I’ve been in that spot. However, I have found the question, “How can I pray for you?” to be one of the most important and powerful questions that can bring about unexpected grace from the Lord.
Why Pray With Others
While I’m no prayer expert, I have learned some invaluable lessons when it comes to prayer over my twenty-three years as a believer. One lesson I have learned that has produced great fruit in my life is the blessing of praying with and for others.
It seems really simple, right? We know, “…if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matt. 18:19-20). We come together with others, we lift our requests to the Father, he then hears our prayers and answers them according to his will.
But it’s so much more than that.
Praying with others is not just about our requests being answered—it’s about the special encounter with and unifying grace of the Lord when two or more people are gathered together in his name.
How Words of Prayer Bring Unity
What do I mean by that? Let me share a story of how the Lord used the Holy Spirit to unite my heart to others through prayer.
I first experienced this shortly after becoming a believer while serving on a ministry team with a person I did not like. I had no reason to not like this teammate. She loved Jesus and loved others well. But because of my pride, I just didn’t care for her.
And then I had to be roommates with this girl for three weeks. Oh, how the Lord was testing me!
On the first day, this teammate came to me and asked, “Hey, Jill! How can I be praying for you this week? Would you be interested in praying together every morning while we’re roommates?”
I’m ashamed to say my first thought was not, “Thanks for asking. What a great idea!”
I politely smiled and said, “Sure.” We started to pray together every morning and, as we did, God was working in my heart. Within the first couple of days that we were praying together, I felt conviction about my pride and wrong attitude toward her. For almost a year I had allowed my sinful heart to believe lies about this teammate.
In response to that conviction, I sought the Lord’s forgiveness and hers. My teammate immediately forgave me and God transformed our relationship. I couldn’t wait to pray with my teammate each morning after that. And she was no longer just my teammate. To this day she is one of my dearest friends!
Praise be to God! Because of the wonderful gift of praying with someone, God changed my heart and gave me a new friend.
Praying With Others: How?
Since that experience, God has allowed me many more opportunities to pray with and for people—often people who I’m not necessarily close with. Over and over again, because we were united in the Lord through prayer, I found my relationships with theses people deepened, healed, or reconciled.
Praying with others can be a healing balm to our souls as well. I think about the many times I’ve been upset or anxious about something and a friend says, “Let me pray for you right now.” Those simple words have such an impact. Whatever is causing me to struggle might not be immediately resolved, but the act of someone praying for me helps realign my restless mind—refocusing me on God and his promises.
“How can I pray for you?”
Six important, powerful words on prayer. Ask them often. And expect to see facets of Jesus that you have not yet perceived!