5 Things I Learned When Praying for Others

We miss out on many blessings when we limit the focus of our prayer time to ourselves.

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A couple prays for each other. Photo by Rido, Shutterstock.

Whether I pray on my knees or while driving or taking a walk, the first things that I talk with God about are my own needs. Is this you?

Naturally, our needs are our priority. There is nothing wrong with praying about them, even if we do that most of the time. But we do miss out on many blessings when we limit the focus of our prayer time to ourselves.

Some time ago, I decided to balance my prayer life by pausing to pray for others. This intentional shift taught me these five things:

1)  Lifting up in prayer the hurts, struggles and sorrows of men and women exposes my own pain and vulnerability. I come in touch with my frail self. Things that I have buried surface to the top in unexpected ways, so God can deal with them.

2)  Praying for people in troubled relationships makes me reflect on my own broken relationships. I am drawn to pray for those who hurt me and those hurt by me.  

3)  In praying for God to heal someone, I am reminded of how the prayers of others got me and my family through difficult times of illness. It makes me grateful for their prayers and how blessed I am with good health.

4)  Praying for people with alcohol or drug addiction helps me to appreciate their courage to get clean or stay sober one day at a time. It gives me courage to face and name my own weaknesses and limitations.

5)  Praying for someone in a serious situation makes me realize that my burden is lighter than I realize. My worries are only that...worries…compared to the young mother diagnosed with breast cancer or the father without a job to support his family. It provides me a different perspective of my personal problems. 

Before founding World Vision, Bob Pierce, prayed: “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” God opened his eyes to see the needs of others and motivated him to minister to them.

Praying for others takes the focus from us and changes how we pray. Share with us what you have learned when praying for others?

Prayer: Lord, let the needs of others touch and change my prayer life and me.

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