How to Give Your Prayers More Impact
- Cortni Marrazzo Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2013 26 Dec
“I’ll pray for you.”
Are they kind words or an empty promise? When we hear that someone we know is going through a hard time, sometimes the only words of comfort we can think of is to tell them we will pray for them. While usually appreciated by the recipient, don’t you sometimes wish there was more you can do, even if it is seems there’s nothing else you can physically do?
Every Christ follower faces this dilemma, whether it’s with our friends, people we serve with at church, co-workers, our family members, or even a stranger. How can we make a difference beyond the words “I’ll pray for you”? I believe whether we are a pastor, a ministry leader at church or newly saved, we can take things up a notch from praying for people, to praying with them. Small change of words, but it makes a big difference. Of course it’s easier and more comfortable to say the words and hopefully actually pray about their situation later in the comfort of your own home. It can be a bit more uncomfortable to stand with someone in a public place and pray with them in person, where they can hear what you pray and, gulp, other people may see. However, God’s way of doing things that requires a certain amount of “uncomfortable” is most often better than what we will accomplish from in our comfort zone. God’s ways often seem odd and appear to go against the grain, but they are truth and provide the best results.
Praying for people in your own quiet prayer time alone isn’t bad at all. It is a great thing to do and often your only choice, but if we’re open, sometimes there is a better way. So why would praying WITH a person be so much more impactful than just praying for them?
You won’t forget
Honestly, this might be one of the most practical reasons praying with someone in person is ideal. We all have good intentions and while most of us honestly want to pray for people’s situations, but we are also human, life gets in the way and we can forget. Sometimes if you want to get things done, you have to do them immediately, so praying for a situation the minute you hear about it is one way you can do that. Jesus said it well when he found his disciples in the garden of Gethsemane sleeping instead of praying, and he said to them, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mattew 26:41). Bypass your weak flesh by praying immediately before you get the chance to forget.
Your prayers can personally impact someone
It’s one thing to know that someone is praying for you (or to just think that they are) but it’s another thing to actually hear the words prayed over you and your situation. Perhaps God wants to speak through you while you are praying for that person. God could lead you to pray for the strength for that person to forgive someone else when they never mentioned anything about that. You could remind them to focus on what is unseen rather than what is seen in their situation when they may have never thought of that. When you pray for someone, especially when you pray God’s Word over them (which is the most powerful form of prayer) you are speaking the power of God’s Word over their situation. Spoken words are powerful and by praying God’s Word over someone, you are asking God to perform his Word over that particular situation and bring his will to pass in that person’s life! Your friend may never have even thought of the scripture you pray over them or maybe they’ve never even heard it. What an amazing way to bring comfort and encouragement to them!
Your faith can become contagious
When you hear someone talk about something they are excited and passionate about, it’s often easy to jump on board and join in their excitement. Faith works the same way. When you are filled with faith and confidence that God will answer your prayers in another person’s life, your prayer will reflect that. It’s hard for that person to be negative and filled with doubt after a prayer like that. Faith is infectious and it spreads like wildfire, so start a spark in someone by sharing your faith with them through your prayers.
There is power in numbers
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells us that if two of us agree here on earth concerning anything we ask, God will be with us and will answer our prayers (Matthew 18:19-20). Praying by yourself is a great thing, but praying with another really takes it up a notch! Who wouldn’t want God with you while you pray? That is the power of agreeing with someone in prayer!
It encourages the person you are praying for to also pray
When talking with someone who is going through a rough situation who needs prayer, it is very possible that person really has no intention of praying for this issue themselves. There can be various reasons for this: they may not truly believe prayer works, they may not know God well or even at all, they may be nervous to pray, thinking they don’t know how to do it well enough. While there are multiple possible reasons, the important thing is to make sure you pray. When you pray for someone, it encourages them to pray along with you in agreement, even if they don’t say anything. It also forces them to stop talking and instead it focuses them on God and how he can help their situation. When you pray with someone, this could be the only time they stop to do this and that is powerful!
For those who are new to a relationship with God or are still deciding, your heartfelt conversational prayer could show them that it’s not scary to pray and that you don’t have to speak King James English to communicate with him. So many people have misconceptions about a relationship with God and about prayer and what better way to dispel those misconceptions than to show them how normal and wonderful a relationship and conversation with God can be!
You don’t have to be perfect at prayer in order to have this kind of impact. In fact, there is no such thing! All you have to do is be real and be willing to put yourself out there so God can bless your efforts, which he will do! You don’t even have to worry about praying the right words because the Holy Spirit will give you the words you need to say (Luke 12:12). Your prayer can be short and to the point (which may be ideal in the interest of saving time) and it can be done in person, over the phone, at the grocery store, in the car, or wherever God stirs you to pray. When it comes to prayer, there is no perfect method, but there is a perfect loving God, and as long as your focus is on him and helping his children, your prayers will do wonderful, amazing things.
Cortni Marrazzo currently resides in Spokane, Washington with her husband Jason and 3 year old son. She has a Degree in Biblical Discipleship and has a passion for ministry and encouraging the body of Christ. She and her husband currently serve as small group directors at their local church. You can contact her at Cortni.Marrazzo@gmail.com or on Facebook.
Publication date: December 26, 2013