A Simple Formula for Praying for Others


Praying for someone else is a core part of what it means to be a prayerful person.  It’s common, after all, for someone to ask for your prayers for them when they are sick or experiencing a hardship.

Still, most of us don’t know exactly how to pray for the person when prayers are requested. 

Be honest- the last time someone asked for your prayers, what did you do?

I reflected on this recently as a friend of mine is going through a tough time.  I’ve done all I could to help but I’m at the point where prayer is now my best response to him.  

Here’s the two-part formula that I’m using with my friend and recommend for you as well:

  1. Pray big.  This is an overarching prayer for God’s will, for God’s timing and for happiness and health.  It looks like this, “Lord I pray for Joe, for him to have peace in his heart, for his needs to be met, for better health, etc.”. (I would of course leave off the etc.!)
  2. Pray small.  Here is where many of us struggle- praying for very specific needs.  For my friend, it might look like this, “Lord for Joe I’m praying that he find a job within the next two weeks.  I pray that it’s something that he’s excited about.  Maybe it’s in a school or at the local college, I don’t know but you know Lord.  I’m asking that you give him what he needs Lord and soon.”

You can see that by praying “big” and “small”, you’re covering your bases.  It’s a faithful and strategic way to pray and gives your heart and mind the space to let God do the work.  You’re doing your part, for sure, but you’ve positioned your heart to communicate to God your needs and the needs of your friend.  

Try it out and see how you like it and how it works.