Simple Advice On Praying For Your Church Family

Praying manPraying for one another is really important. I believe it encourages healthy community, it promotes love among church members, it helps you to think first about the needs of others, and it encourages all of when we are hurting. Prayer is also a means by which God works in our lives. God has ordained that we pray and he delights to answer our prayers. So we pray for one another that God might work in our church and the lives of those who gather together. But praying for one another can be difficult, especially if your congregation is large, your schedule is hectic, and your prayer life is poor. Allow me to offer a few simple strategies for praying for your church family.

1. Make it Simple – Your prayers don’t have to be elaborate and detailed. At first you may not even know very much about all the people in your congregation. That’s okay. God knows lots about them, and over time you will too. But for now we know we all need the same things from God: mercy, strength to persevere, an awareness of His presence, etc. Pray simple prayers. You can even turn to the book of Psalms and make a short Psalm your prayer for them that day.

2. Make it Routine – Nothing helps to establish a habit like a schedule. Make praying for your church family part of your commute, part of your breakfast time, part of your pre-bed ritual. It doesn’t matter when you start, just force yourself to do it the same time every day. In 30 days you will have established a pattern that will make continual prayer for your church family a regular habit.

3. Make a Prayer List – In order to make sure that you are praying for everyone in your congregation you will most likely need a prayer list. For congregations that are larger your church office probably already has a complete listing, ask them for a copy of the names so you can be in prayer for everyone who attends worship at your local fellowship. Work you way through the list, double and triple-up on names, so that you can make it through the whole list at least once a year.

4. Make it Specific (where possible) – You can’t know everything about everyone, especially if your congregation is over 1,000 people. But where possible make your prayers specific. Pray for this person’s cancer treatments, pray for that persons new job, pray for this guy’s relationship with his neighbor, and pray for that girl’s new role as mom. The specificity is important because it helps you to feel connected to the people of your church, and helps them to feel like you actually care. In other words, it helps to cultivate genuine love when we are specific. This can also help to encourage you to ask questions of one another, to invest in one another’s lives, and that’s always a good thing.

5. Finally, Make it Public – let others know that you are praying for them. I post my prayer focus on Facebook every morning and tag the person I am praying for so that they know. This gives them a chance to ask for specific prayers too. You don’t have to do that but however you do, let others know that you are praying for them. Maybe you’ll schedule out who you are praying for at the start of the week and then you can contact those folks and ask if they have specific prayer requests (remember to write them down).

These are just suggestions. Surely much more could be said about how to promote praying for one another in your church. If you have suggestions add them to the comments of this post. But whatever you do, friends, I encourage you for your joy and for your church’s health, pray for one another.

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