INTERCEDING for those in our presence is a powerful medium that promotes healing, as the Holy Spirit comes alongside the moment, making a cord of three strands.
Prayer is precious when two people are focused on the same thing with God to the exclusion of all distractions. Can God not do abundantly more than we’d ever hope or imagine? Prayer makes it possible that a myriad of supernatural dimensions are enabled. Not least of these, there is the fact that prayer changes us in some of the most unpredictable yet welcome ways.
Here are seven ways I’ve found helpful in praying for the vulnerable:
1. Discuss what they need prayer for and pray for them right there: ensure you make time to truly listen in order to understand their true needs before starting to pray. It takes courage to admit we don’t understand what they’ve said, but it’s better to confirm than pray on assumption where the Spirit’s power is asked to operate in falsity. Checking our information as to their real needs proves we truly care.
2. Ask appropriate others to join in: there is power in numbers, but only if the intimacy in the prayer won’t be compromised. Only ask appropriate others. These are other people who would bless the person being prayed for. If you have any doubt ensure you ask their permission.
3. Pray with compassionate boldness and sensitivity to the Spirit: making our prayers about the Spirit and not about us is the key to an effective prayer. This is about getting lost in the prayer. All those praying need to be lost to their self-consciousness and found in that spiritual fullness that comes from God’s Presence alone.
4. Pray by God’s Word: seeking a Word for the time and situation, God is sought for that Word. God never fails to provide, yet a Word may seem askew. Trust in the timing of the Lord.
5. Pray by song: sometimes singing together is so good for the soul because it disinhibits us providing the breakthrough opportunity the Spirit needs. Song is especially powerful where there is the manifest grip of fear or pride.
6. Pray silently: this is especially poignant when there are no words to say; where presence alone is the healing touch of God. To ‘sit Shiva’ (sit and mourn seven days silently) with someone in the pit of great and imminent loss is the healing touch of God in the moment of incomprehensibility. Seven hours is better than three. And seven minutes is better than three. We may simply hold their hand, place a hand on their shoulder, or put an arm over their shoulder (according to what they feel comfortable with) to remind them we are there, with them, in a very real way.
7. Promise to continue to intercede for them: don’t promise if you don’t intend on continuing to pray. I’ve found that praying for them as soon as we part, perhaps as I’m driving away, is the best way to stay good to my promise. I ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of them and their case, and it very often happens. When this happens I try to contact them and let them know I’ve been praying for them.
The effects of our prayers often lag. Don’t underestimate the power of prayer from the aspect of their reflections later on. People can often only tell the power of God to deliver them as they reflect on months or years that have passed.
Keep praying in faith! — with no promise of blessing in sight.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.