How to Pray for Everyone

A mysterious prayer request becomes clear.

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How to pray for everyone.

Every Monday morning at the Guideposts editorial offices in New York we gather together, as Guideposts editors have since time immemorial, and pray for others. Prayer requests used to come by mail, but today, most come online and what a touching, thrilling, heart-wrenching privilege it is to read what people are going through and how they need God’s help.

Last Monday as we were gathered around that table, reading aloud the different requests, one in particular had me pondering long after I heard it and long after we had prayed. “Pray for everyone,” the person wrote. Was it someone who felt so overburdened with her own needs and other people’s concerns that she just couldn’t list them all? Was it someone so generous that her compassion extended to…everyone?

Read More: Mornings with Jesus Devotional

But how could I just pray for everyone? What was I supposed to pray for them? That they find peace of mind? That they stay in good health? That they have a happy family or a better marriage? That they find the man/woman of their dreams? That everybody at their church gets along? I wished I could find the words beyond, “May everybody be well…”

Later that week a messenger came by the office with a package to deliver. I happened to be at the glass door when he arrived and so I signed for the package, but the young man lingered. Something else was on his mind. After fumbling for words, he said that he was struggling a bit in his faith.

“Take copies of our magazine,” I said, gesturing to the box with free copies that we have at the door. “Take as many as you want. They might help. We have some free books here too…”

“Thanks,” he said. He’d already some copies of our magazine. That seemed to be why he felt he could talk to me, a complete stranger, about his concerns. He paused for a while longer. “Could you pray for me?” he finally said.

“Sure. We gather in the offices every Monday morning to pray for others. What can we pray for?” I waited for a moment, then offered, “Do you want us to pray for your faith?”

“No, that’s okay,” he said. “My faith is good.” He looked down at his feet. I waited at the door. Then he looked back at me. “I just wish I had less unbelief.”

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Less unbelief. What a wonderful request. I knew exactly what he meant. I could pray that for myself.  And I could pray that for anyone.  Or better yet, for everyone.

You have something you need prayers for? Let us know.    

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