Jesus said, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I.” (Matt 18:20) Sometimes people can really benefit from having others pray with or for them. Learn some practical tips on how to pray safely and positively with someone.
Loving God, help me to spend time in prayer with you. As I pray Lord, I surrender all my thoughts to you, my worries, doubts, dreams and hopes. Give me the grace to keep this communication of prayer open with you always. Lord I pray for my family, friends and all those that need prayer, that you may come to their aid and be with them. I offer them up to you Lord, trusting in your perfect plans. Amen!
“Prayer is being on terms of friendship with God,
frequently conversing in secret with Him who, we know, loves us.”
Saint Teresa of Avila
Often, we pray and seek the Lord when we are in need. However, prayer is more than asking for what we want. In scripture, we see that God is faithful and He consistently pursues a relationship with us. Our faith is about our relationship with God, our Heavenly Father. In prayer we seek to grow this friendship with God and converse with Him in everything we do.
“Prayer is the best weapon we possess. It is the key that opens the heart of God.”
Saint Padre Pio
Prayer is the best weapon we have as Christians. We declare our trust in an Almighty and loving Father whom we know is a miracle worker and promise keeper. It keeps us close to God who we know loves us and cares for us.
“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
A mature Christian grows in their identity placed in Christ. Our hearts learn to trust God enough to put ourselves in the hands of God at His disposition. It is no longer about what we want but knowing that His will is greater – “may His will be done.” Our perfect response follows the example of the fiat of the Virgin Mary.
“Prayer is in fact the recognition of our limits and our dependence: we come from God, we are of God, and to God we return.”
Saint Pope John Paul II
It’s important for us to develop a strong prayer life ourselves, but there’s also a gift within praying with and for each other.
“Again I say to you, 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 in the midst of them.”
Matthew 18:19-20 RSVCE
We all go through times when it’s hard to pray for ourselves, or we don’t have the words to pray, or maybe we don’t even have the faith to pray. That’s why it’s such a blessing to be able to pray for each other.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 RSVCE
Note in the last verse of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, the math seems wrong – it talks about the strength of two people together, then somehow adds two people up to equal…three? This gives us confirmation that where two people are together praying, God is also present.
So how can we pray for each other?
God wants to hear from YOU, His child! If prayer is a conversation with someone who knows us inside out, we can speak normally. We don’t need fancy words to speak with our Father.
“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 6:7-8 RSVCE
In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit asks the whole Church in Antioch to pray over Paul and Barnabus and send them on their mission.
“While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.”
Acts 13:2-3 RSVCE
There are many ways to pray and intercede together. Physical contact (laying hands) during prayer/intercession can be a sign of connection as you join in solidarity with the person, or (with permission) you could place your hand on an injured part of the body you’re praying for healing for (if appropriate).
Physical contact during prayer is not required, but if you do decide to lay hands while you pray with someone, it’s vital that you are aware of how to keep safe boundaries.
God’s thoughts are always positive about us, so it’s important when we pray for someone that what we pray and say is also always encouraging. When you’re praying for someone, it is not appropriate to confront or expose sin. You’re there to help someone remember who God made them to be, and encourage them and give hope.
When you pray for someone, start by asking whether they have any specific thing they would like for you to pray with them about. Stay away from statements which generally involve vocation or life-changing scenarios eg “God wants you to be a priest.” Let God speak to someone’s heart Himself about these major events.
Put aside any distractions, such as music or your phone, and give your full attention to the short tutorial.
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