Have you ever thought that you may be the only person in someone’s life who will pray for them?
Have you ever considered that God may have uniquely positioned you to understand someone’s hurts, see his weakness, or rejoice in her victories?
Understanding the purpose of prayer can be confusing to all of us. But today, I’d like to make a really simple, but hopefully profound and actionable, argument.
To fully grasp the main point of this post, you must first understand these three foundational principles:
- As a Christian, you are called to pray.
- You are uniquely positioned to pray for specific people.
- God brings about his good purposes on earth through our prayers.
Indulge me for a second, and read those three statements again to make sure they really hit home.
Did you really?
Now, from here on out, I’d like to help you see the people in your life who need your prayers.
Knowing What to Pray About
Getting a long list of prayer ideas or prompts may be helpful from time to time, but I’m not convinced that what you need to refresh your prayer life is a long list of ideas, I think you just need to make time to pray.
So, I’ll keep this post short and scannable in order that you’ll have time to do so. Because as it turns out, if you’re reading this right now, you have a few minutes to spare for prayer (that rhyme was a happy accident).
I hope it’s obvious that the following is not an exhaustive list of all you should pray about. As Christians we are called to cover all things in prayer, not just these people in our lives. But in the name of simplicity and brevity, here’s a launching point for you as you engage the Lord in prayer.
Three People You Can Pray For Today
#1 Pray for a leader
We all have leaders in our lives: a boss, a pastor, teachers, parents, political leaders.
God’s word says those in authority are put there for a reason (see Romans 13:1). It also says they’ll have to report to a higher level of accountability in the end (see James 3:1). In other words, they desperately need our prayers.
Leading is not an easy task, no matter how much we might like to think it is. Those who have power or influence may make it seem as if they’ve got it made, but the reality is leading is a difficult and burdensome task that cannot be taken lightly.
Think of someone in your life right now who has any level of authority or influence and commit to saying a prayer for them.
- Pray that the leader would keep his or her eyes fixed on the Lord.
- Pray for a heart of humility.
- Pray for your own heart to joyfully submit in obedience as a way of honoring your God.
#2 Pray for a neighbor
Jesus is famous for talking about loving our neighbors (see Mark 12:28-31). And at one point during his ministry he was challenged to define for his audience who constitutes a neighbor (see Luke 10:29).
His answer: whoever God has placed in your life.
It could be a literal neighbor who lives next to you, it could be a friend, a coworker, or someone you sit next to on the train on your commute to work.
At some point recently, someone expressed to you a difficulty they were experiencing. Maybe it was that coworker who told you about his son-in-law passing away. Or the roommate from college you know is battling depression. Or your friend who hasn’t fully understood what Jesus did for her in order that she may have eternal life.
There is someone you’ve spoken to recently who needs prayer. Let’s not allow this person to walk through life alone. God has made you aware of his or her situation for a reason.
- Pray for God’s peace in the midst of trials which defies logic
- Pray for God’s protection over the battle for their emotional, physical or spiritual health
- Pray they would experience God’s loving kindness through a selfless act of one his children (and be prepared for the possibility that that person may be you).
#3 Pray for family
There is a theme strung throughout the Bible that urges Christians to care for orphans and widows.
Why is that?
God’s heart is with the orphan and widow, because he is pro-family. And he knows these populations aren’t benefiting from the joy of family. He is three in one: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And to have any tension or distance in a family relationship causes pain.
God can relate.
Remember when Jesus was on the cross and there was a time of separation from the Father (Matthew 27:45-46)?
Being separated from family is a terrible fate, because family is one of the greatest blessings.
We care so much about family because God, our father, cares so much about family. God is the author of the family, and we were created in his image.
What’s my point here? Family is important, so we need to cover our family in prayers.
When Satan sees family, he’s reminded of God. So he works to cause pain and distance in the relationships that are most meant to reflect God’s love. It’s the ultimate way to try to undermine his enemy. Our families need God’s protection.
You choose how to pray for family. It could be your parents, spouse, child, sibling, or grandparents. Or maybe you’ve experienced first-hand how painful brokenness is within the context of family, so God is asking you to pray for the healing of the family structure as a whole.
- Pray for unity between this person and the rest of the family, that God might be glorified within a healthy family structure.
- Pray that this person would receive healing for any hurts they’ve experienced.
- Pray that you would have a heart quick to forgive brokenness, quick to admit mistakes, and quick to offer love and appreciation.
Making Time for Prayer
Prayer is meant to be a huge part of our relationship with the Lord. After all, what good is a relationship without communication?
As you think of someone from each category mentioned above, don’t forget that prayer isn’t meant to just be a list of requests. So when you close your eyes to pray, be sure to also take a minute to thank God for all he is and all he’s done.
Now, go cover your people in prayer. You might be the only one doing so today.
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