Why I Struggle to Pray for People

Why I Struggle to Pray for People

July 29, 2016

“Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent.” Exodus 33:10 (NIV)


We slipped through the side door into a small room. Women sat on the floor, their books open, while a fan pushed around the sweltering 110+ degree air.

When the lessons were complete, we were introduced. Shy smiles broke down the language and cultural barriers. A handful were Christian believers in the early stages of their faith. Others practiced a different religion.

We asked if they’d share their stories. As one talked, she pointed to her mother standing at the back of the room. Tears pooled as she said that her mother was very ill.

My immediate instinct was to pray for her, but I didn’t act on it.

How would it be received? We were guests in their community, in their culture and in this classroom. But the feeling wouldn’t go away.

As it neared time for us to leave, I whispered to the person who brought us to the class: “I want to pray for the girl’s mother. Is that OK?”

“It’s always acceptable to pray,” she answered.

She asked the girl’s mother to come forward. I rested my hands gently in hers and started to pray. The presence of God sweetly wrapped around us. It was tangible. It was so real. When I opened my eyes, I witnessed girls and women pressing forward, the cluster of faces totally expectant.

They wanted prayer too.

My friend, Lynn, and I prayed for each woman in that room, some of them twice as they came back for more.

It’s always acceptable to pray.

Or is it?

Somehow I’ve allowed my American culture to influence this belief. I’ve been told that it’s intrusive. Unwanted.

In today’s passage, we find Moses in the Tent of Meeting. It’s not a fancy place. It’s smack dab in the middle of the wilderness. But when Moses enters the tent to talk to God, the glory of God sweeps over the tent.

Those standing at a distance are so enthralled with what’s going on before their eyes, they can’t help but worship.

This is such a beautiful picture of prayer.

Moses prayed, most likely for the thousands that wandered in the wilderness. Some believed. Others didn’t. Some followed. Others grumbled. Prayer ministered to Moses, but it also drew others to God.

Has my fear of when and where and how to pray kept me from praying for others?

I think it has, and it’s something I’m asking God to help me with.

My friend in the hard place who’s lacking the words to ask for prayer? I can reach for her hand and let her know that she is not alone.

That stranger in the airport who is flying across country to attend her grandma’s funeral? I can pray for comfort.

There are numerous opportunities around us to pray for people.

We can listen for the tender, gentle voice of God who loves that person, who knows when it’s the right time. He knows when a heart is receptive, or hurting, or wondering if anyone is aware of their pain.

Just the other day, I listened as a friend described a bout with sickness. We were in a public place. Others milled around. Normally I would have listened, promising to pray later.

Can I pray for you?

Right there, right then. We bowed our heads and quietly reached for heaven. Some watched in curiosity. Others joined in. When we were through praying, I felt a hand touch my arm.

Will you pray for me, too?

Yes, absolutely yes.

Do you struggle to pray for people?

Listen to God’s voice. He’ll show you when to pray, and how. He knows who is standing at a distance, their hearts ready to worship Him too.

Dear God, I’ve allowed my culture to tell me that prayer isn’t acceptable when there are people who long to feel Your presence. Give me the courage to say yes to Your invitation to pray for others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Exodus 4:15, “You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.” (NIV)

Suzie Eller’s new book, Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads, shares a chapter on discovering the untapped power of prayer.

Be sure to visit Suzie’s blog today for a giveaway and to sign up for her free Come With Me study that will run July 25 through September 2.

Perhaps you struggle to pray for people because you don’t want to offend. Ask God for His guidance.

We have been given a Helper in the form of the Holy Spirit who will help us discern when to pray, and in a way that draws a person to God, rather than pushes them away. Read Romans 8:26-27 and thank God for His role in prayer.

© 2016 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.

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  1. Susan Elizabeth Henson says:

    Perfect timing for this beautiful piece! I was just about to start my prayers when my phone beeped that I had a message!
    I am often concerned that I am going to make the prayed for person feel awkward if I do so in public, although I myself feel fine praying in public.

  2. Krystall says:

    Thank you so much for this sweet and on time reminder. Our prayer live are important for us and also for the people around us who may not know how or what to pray. This also reminded me of my precious young daughters who watch everything I do. I don’t want them to think that prayer is something to keep in our homes and churches, I want them to see me praying openly and often with and for the people around us. I want them to be willing to bless those around them with the gift of prayer when they are older.

  3. Susie Patterson says:

    Thank you for the courage to share what many of us feel. I want to pray more, I want to be obedient. But, often I allow my emotions and the thoughts of “is it ok to pray” stop me! I pray for courage to say YES! when God leads. I don’t want fear keep me from praying or encouraging someone. I want to be obedient.

    • It’s good to know that we are all human.
      For myself , I need to constantly remind myself pray quietly for those who aren’t ready to accept prayer, to be open toThe Holy Spirit’s timing and presence.
      He will prepare us and. Tell us
      When the NOW…. Go and Do and to be Bold for Jesus, knowing at any given Time The Holy Spirit always Provides the right timing And will speak through us.
      Through prayer and our actions .
      You are Blessed!!

  4. This is really timely. I have an impression in my heart to start praying for couple around me who are believing God for the fruit of the womb. I have been doing that now. I am one person who finds it difficult praying for others outside my family circle because I feel my own personal problems are enormous but I thank God for breaking through me.

  5. I appreciated this devotional.
    I struggle to pray for people because of the reasons talked about here, and also for others.
    Like, what if it doesn’t “work”?
    Ive had so many apparently unanswered prayers, ambiguous answers and disappointment.
    I feel like i can barely attempt to deal with those, so why would i take the risk of drawing others in to that when i cant answer their questions?
    Or the verses and comments from other christians that seem to indicate that it is my lack of faith that is the problem?
    Fair enough but then my very small and fragile faith just took another hit .
    Im not sure what I’m hoping to accomplish by saying all of this, but i suppose i would like prayer for a deeper relationship with God, and a very much strengthened faith, so that one day i would be brave enough to consider asking someone if i could pray for them.
    Because right now i can barely pray on my own.
    Thank you as always for your timely devotional that cuts to the heart of what matters in our lives and our walk with Jesus..

    • theresa says:

      Hey, Dont be so hard on yourself. You are on the right track of asking for prayer for yourself for your lack of faith. I tell God daily when I get overwhelmed and forget who I am in you remind me. I will pray your strength, guidance and much love from the Lord he will do it. He cares deeply for you and has guided you to prayer to draw nigh unto. Give me praise and worship for that cause that is awesome. Because you could have given up and turned you back. He made ot heavy on your heart and spirit to desire him more. AMEN

    • God, please strengthen her faith. Lead her into a deeper knowledge and understanding of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
      When you are steadfast in your faith, knowing that God takes care of the consequences of our obedience, you will be courageous when you pray for others.

    • Sally,
      Your openness and vulnerability are really encouraging. I wanted to share something that has helped me truly understand faith more lately. Our church is doing the bible study The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer right now. She goes through each piece of armor from Ephesians 6:10-19 in such a practical way. As she is explaining faith, she gives an example of going to sit in a chair. When we are planning to sit in a chair, is our faith mostly in the strength of the chair itself, or in our own strength to hold us up? Our faith is more about our God and his strength than in our own. This example was so eye opening for me. She also says….”Whether a chair can hold you, will only be determined when you actually sit in the chair”….When we take the steps to move out in faith, and to take action in faith of what God can do, our own shield of faith is activated. This has given me such an amazing visual on faith. I really recommend her book (I’m sure I haven’t done it justice here!) , it is helping me understand more how to use the armor God has given us, stand stronger in faith, and take braver steps. I will be praying for you as you move forward too!

    • kathy wyg says:

      Good morning…join the crowd in your feelings…Sally…I too am not comfortable..nor have I ever done it in public..my hubby is & will in a heartbeat…I come from a consevative Catholic background & you didn’t do that kind of stuff..I am more inclined to just say a prayer internally for that individual..there are times when I am walking in my driveway..part of my daily exercise regimen..& I get caught up w/other things in my head..I forget to do my prayer the first thing & then I walk & apologize to GOD like crazy for forgetting..& like you some of my prayers have gone unanswered…but then
      A mega..amount have & have blown my mind..& I was in tears…so…hang in there..
      I hope I have helped alittle…there is another lady too who always has encouraging words on this page…her name is Shirlee..& she has a site I just found out about last wk called SOULS UNDER CONSTRUCTION…..I think you might like it…if I can help you in any other way…just let me know….Kathy

      Have a blessed day…….Sally…………….

    • Shannon Roberts says:

      Sally, you are not alone in how you feel. I have and do struggle with having faith like all the greats of our faith, but I have found that 1. Asking God to increase my faith on a daily basis has been huge. We have to ask and we have to be persistent. God honors our obedience. 2. I thank God for everything, but not just saying thank you, I call everything out. Like thank you for waking me this morning, thank you for the sunshine, thank you for all that you are teaching me, etc. And praise Him for who He is and what He has done. Sometimes this simple act of praise and worship shows me just how much He loves me and just how much He does answer prayer. 3. I started journaling. Alot of times we forget when He has answered our prayers, but when you write in a journal daily or as often as you can you will begin to go back and see how much you have grown in faith and you will begin to see the smallest prayers that got answered to the bigger…and sometimes an answer hasn’t been given because it’s not time. It doesn’t mean it’s not answered, more like paused. But journaling helps you to see all that He is doing in your life because we all get caught up in our daily routines and life is busy and we forget.

      Don’t be so hard on yourself. God sees your heart and knows exactly where you are in your faith. Not everyone can just pray and pray for others just because they are a christian. I’m not totally there yet myself. But we all can do that in time and with faith and confidence in our Creator be prayer warriors. Keep praying in all things and don’t give up! You will get there…give yourself some grace!

  6. Thank you for your eord

  7. Oh Sally your not alone I am right there where you are. I to can barely pray on my own. My relationship with God is definitely not what it should be or what I long for it to be. I so long for a deeper more intimate walk with the Lord. Im the one that wants to ask my Christian friends for prayer but feel embarrassed because I don’t want them to know what a mess i am. It’s hard being the one to know if you should pray and it’s hard being the one who desperately needs to ask for prayer.

    • Michelle says:

      I’ve been there, afraid to ask for prayer. Satan will fill us with pride and feelings of “less than” and embarrassment. If you are speaking to a child of God for prayer, you better believe it is received with love and no judgment!! Remember, where 2 or more meet in His Name, He is there!! And whatever you ask for, if it is in agreement with the both of you and it is in the will of God, it will be done 🙂

      I just watched War Room a little while ago, and started reading “Fervent”, all while my church services were teaching about the power of prayer and how our prayers tip the scales in the heavenly battles. I highly recommended the book as I have seen so much God movement from my prayers now!! (I’d love this book in the giveaway too lol, adding it to my “to read” list 🙂 )

      1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 6:18, Matthew 7:7, Matthew 18:19 (I didn’t know where this verse was- had no idea which book it was in, I was just about to close my Bible and give you a different verse, but right there, highlighted in blue from 6/20/16, was this verse!! God is soooo good!!!!)

    • theresa says:

      Def been there. Just confessing this issue is a blessing. And a start of something great getting ready to happen as it resolved through prayer, praise, worship and action. Something powerful is on the way

    • Dear sister, I had to smile at the last sentence of your post because we ALL have found ourselves in those positions at some time. Afraid to ask others to pray for us and afraid to reach out to pray with others. I have learned I don’t have to bare my soul to ask someone to pray for me. They don’t have to know every detail of what is on your heart to be asked to pray for us. There are those we may feel safe sharing details while others not and that is ok. Sometimes, just letting others know we would appreciate their prayers is enough. As for praying with others, I just ask if I could pray with or for them. That allows them to choose what is more comfortable. I act upon their choice. If they say, “No” then that’s ok but in my experience, that is rare. Most people seem to appreciate prayer. God bless you and may He give you help, clarity, and reminders of His Love and Presence. Deborah

  8. I grew up where prayer was reserved for church. The pastor would offer this long prayer after a long sermon. If they was a potluck, the pastor would say grace our we would sing the doxology. My folks made us say the prayer. ‘Now I lay me down to sleep.’ I’ve grown a bit since then. But we when would go around the circle to offer prayer on a retreat or to close a stuffy group, I would practically have a panic attack. Not comfortable. Afraid I wouldn’t have the right words. Still,to this day,prayer is difficult for me. My private prayer life is developing leaps and bounds. I have a prayer journal now that I write in and use to pray for others. I also record answered prayers. Publicly, not so much. But it is a prayer I offer to God to work with me. Thanks for your words today, Suzie.

    • Mary in NH says:

      I struggle with opening my mouth to pray too. I’m always embarrassed when pastor asks us to form prayer circles, to ask the Lord for support in some matter. Everyone, even kids seem to have such eloquent words of praise, but me, I’m tongue tied. It’s not that I don’t, in my mind, pray for people. Give me your concern, and in my heart, I’ll be advocating to God for you all day. I wish there was a teaching on how to make up a spontaneous prayer for any circumstance.

      • Spontaneous prayer = just pray. God knows. A lot of my spontaneous prayer is practiced or off the top of my head (and I say it quietly or think it). I don’t know how to pray openly – I’m shy and shaky, too.

      • kathy wyg says:

        Good morning…Mary in NH….your story sound like mine; I am Catholic & our churches just send our prayers upwards during mass…my hubbies church..which I attend too…they do the prayer circles all the time…I don’t participate…but I do pray in
        Internally….thank you for sharing that Mary…greatly appreciated…..

        Have a blessed day………………Mary……….

  9. Michelle says:

    Thank you so much for this! I carry around a prayer journal, but I’m going to ask the Holy Spirit to give me the boldness to pray with that person right when I’m told they need it. Thank you 🙂

    • I am the same way. I carry my prayer journal and pray for people silently. I have asked God for more boldness. I will join you my sister in prayer. ?

  10. Dear Proverbs 31 women, I encourage you to take Suzie’s words to heart! Invite Jesus into the hard conversations with your friends.

    I am known as a woman who prayes. Even at work, people would come to me with their problems and ask me to pray for them. I remember the first time I obeyed the urge to get up and walk around my desk, put my hand on the shoulder of the other person and say quietly, “Lord, you heard the need. Be with my friend.” It was surprisingly easy and gratefully received. All the doubts about doing it came from the enemy, not God.

    It gets even easier with practice. In my workplace, it is always one short sentence, just enough to touch the hand of God, with a physical touch on my part–usually my hand on their arm or shoulder, sometimes with a quick hug. “Lord, wisdom.” “Be with her, Lord, while she gives the bad news.” “Walk beside her, God.” “Peace, Lord, in all this stress.”

    • Michelle says:

      Your spiritual integrity 🙂 I long for that, I want people to recognize me as “that Jesus girl” or “the one who prays a lot” lol. Thank you for sharing!

    • You are wise and a light in the world. Oh………how I wish I worked with people like you. It is the complete opposite, however, but I try to be a light. It is very draining……please pray for me.

    • Stephanie Smith says:

      God bless you Ms Shirlee! I always look foward to reading what you have to say after every devotional! Thank you! ❤️

    • Lisa cervera says:

      Awesome! Thank you for sharing how God uses you at work.

    • Oh Ms. Shirlee, how I always look forward each morning to hear what you have to say in response to the devotion of the day and others comments. You are such a blessing to me. I would like to ask you to pray for me. I so want to draw closer to God, and I’ve come a long ways; however, I feel like I am always struggling. I feel like I have the faith, I mean I have seen the healings, I have witnessed the miracles, I know He can do ALL things, but when I pray over the small simple stuff in my life and it doesn’t come to pass, then I just cry out to God and say how am I to build my faith, if my faith can’t even take care of the small stuff. Right now I need a big thing, and I know it is nothing to Him, but no matter how much I pray and ask for healing, or praise Him to thank Him for the healing that will come, nothing happens. I’m in tremendous pain. I know that I can go to the doctor, but then I feel like I’m telling God I have no faith in Him, and that’s absolutely not true. He is a good God, and He wants nothing but good for His children. Would you please pray for me? Whether I get the healing or not, I want more than anything to draw nearer to Him and be the example to others that He wants me to be. Thank you.

      • Thank you for your kind words, Tammy, and, yes, I will pray for you (and Willie, and others). I post in the morning before I go to work–in a hospital, with doctors and nurses and high-tech equipment. I see God’s glory in all of it: the amazing structure of our bodies, the talent and compassion and creativity of people, and even the resources he put on earth that go into the complicated machines and drugs we so easily take for granted. God often works through these very people, equipment and medications.

        Lord God, open the eyes of Tammy’s and Willie’s and others’ hearts to see and know you as both Best Friend and Mighty God. Show them how prayer is a simple conversation with you. Grant them the courage to speak honestly to you, the wisdom to receive your response, the peace of your eternal time frame, the security of trust in your plan, the joy of resting under your wings. Wrap them in the security blanket of your love. Amen.

  11. I believe the power of prayer reaches far beyond what we can see or imagine. Prayer is the work God has called us Christians to! James 4:8 Draw Near to God and He will Draw near to us – one way of drawing near is through prayer

  12. Please pray for me today. I am truly blessed but I have a chronic disease. No one knows but my sister who is far away. I do not want to burden my grown children so I suffer in silence. I want to pray that I can keep working part time and helping with my grandchildren until my God calls me home. I want to keep going. My lord is my best friend! Thank you.

    • Jennifer says:

      You need to share your struggle with your children. They may become your biggest support group.

    • theresa says:

      You such a brave and kind hearted woman. I will pray for you. Lord touch your beautiful and amazing daughter give her strength, peace, and comfort. Most of Lord increase her faith in you. To do all things and not fail. God you know all her needs.i believe by faith you are going to bless her with them. God we declare healing from this chronic illness. We know you have healed the blind, the woman with issue of blood and blessed the barren womb. We know you will and shall bless your daughter Betty. And we praise you in advance. We promise to give you the glory and the praise because it all belongs to you. We love you and thank you in Jesus name Amen!

    • Father, encourage Betty to no longer suffer in silence. Heal her of her affliction and bless her family with Your love. Bring them all together. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    • kathy wyg says:

      Good Morning Betty…

      I agree with Jennifer…about your family..,..they could very well be your biggest
      Supporters…& they may even question why you kept it from them…my hubby & I @ times have attempted to do that..& our 2 kids..,,grown & moved away..were alittle upset..w/us…they said…we are not babies anymore…we can handle it..so we apologized..& now keep them informed….just a thought…..Betty…..I will say a quick prayer for you…

      Have a blessed day………………kathy wyg

    • Lord, today I pray for this beautiful daughter. Cover her in comfort, strength and renewed joy. Be with her daily. Let your presence be so tangible that it obscures the pain. You are a Healer. We come before you and ask for healing, Father. Let it be so remarkable that your name is praised far and wide. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

  13. Carolyn says:

    This devotion today was so timely. I missed an opportunity to pray for a neighbor this past weekend. She shared her heart about an illness that is going through her body. We sat and talked about the diagnosis, the future, her options, etc. After she left, I kicked myself all over the place for not praying for this woman with her present. I have been praying since but there’s just something special when you hold a friend’s hand or you put a hand on someone’s shoulder, it’s like you’re connected and God is present. Thank you so much for this devotion this morning and I will trust that God will lead me to be more bold in offering prayer.

  14. Jennifer says:

    This devotional resounds true for me. I often feel God’s push to pray with someone instead of telling someone you will pray for them. I’m still uncomfortable about asking certain people because I’ve been raised in a culture where it’s become awkward or forward.

    • Lord, thank you for Jennifer’s heart to listen to your voice. You’ll show her when to pray and you’ll give her the words to say. That’s our promise and we trust in it.

  15. This message speaks so much to me. It is extremely true that we shy away from prayer because our society says it should not be done. We should do it privately, not publicly so as not to offend others. A few weeks ago, a coworker’s family member was in hospice. I overheard him speaking with another coworker and I went over to ask if I could pray with him. It was with some hesitation, because I knew he was not a believer. But he relented and I prayed for him and his family. His family member passed that afternoon. Right after I prayed for him, the coworker he was speaking with was quick to ask me as well to pray for her and her family. Many people believe in prayer and even though the answer at times may be no, there is still that amazing opportunity to come to the Master’s feet and leave your burdens there. Thanks again for the encouragement.

  16. Thanks so much for today’s encouragement. I am actually doing a sermonette on prayer for our church Bible study. In studying for this I am amazed how the subject prayer comes up everywhere I turn. God is good.

  17. Lovely !!! Encouraging !! Empowering !!!
    Yes. I too have been prayed for & prayed asI layed handson others & experienced the sweet, powerful Presence of God come & fill the atmosphere.
    You have affirmed this — it is Always acceptable to Pray.
    Thank you.

  18. Dear Heavenly Father help me to be a prayer warrior. At times when I don’t know what to do for others help me to pray. I know it is the most important thing I can do. Your word says pray without ceasing. Thank you for the power of prayer. Thank you for your word and the wisdom we gain from it. Thank you for this devotion. I pray you will bless the writer and everyone reading her words!! For it is in Jesus Christ sweet holy name I pray Amen.

  19. Thank you for this pertinent message, especially today. I often feel the desire to pray for someone “right there” and often do not because of fear of offending someone. I never thought about the consequence of offending God or the person who is in need of prayer.

    This message has impacted me and I will work toward reaching out to those in need of prayer when needed, not at my convenience; at the convenience of God!

  20. How true it is that we all have good intentions of praying for people, but we’re either too afraid of what others will think or too shy. We think we will pray for that person when we get home, in our quiet time, but then do we? We get busy with all of life’s demands and forget, not intentionally, but we do forget. If possible, I always think it best to pray for that person as soon as they ask you. It’s always wonderful to feel God’s sweet presence and His peace during that time. Thank you for this devotional.

  21. Lisa cervera says:

    I’ve been thinking lately about how much of what I do ordination do is related to the “fear of man.” This devotional really hits on that. Thank you.

  22. Christina says:

    Dear Susie, TYVM for today’s message. It spoke of my life as well. I have gained insight and courage from it. I stopped and said a prayer for you, your ministry and your family. May God bless you!

  23. Thank you for this. My mothet, who is in a nursing home, is close to being called home. Please pray for her and my dad. She is in Maine, and unfortunately, I’m in Kentucky. She has my brothers and their wives with her, but it’s hard not being able to be there. I flew there last month and flights are expensive. Please pray for me too because I am struggling with this. Thank you.

    • Praying for you dear sister. May God’s comfort and peace surround your Mother and may you know that same peace and comfort. You may not be able to physically be with your Mom but you certainly can share by praying for her and the situation. In this age of technology, maybe face time or Skype with your siblings? May sound strange but my Mom dearly wanted to be at my daughter’s college graduation but her health would not allow it. The graduation was live streamed and Mom was able to watch via a laptop at the nursing facility where she lives. This allowed her to share in this time with our family and I suspect that is a desire of your heart at this time. God bless and keep you!

  24. Darline says:

    Sally, your response really touched my heart. First of all, God always answers our prayers. He either answers them with a yes, no or wait. When God answers us with the no, or wait, we all feel like it is unanswered, but He sees the big picture and He alone knows what is best for us. I also always had a hard time praying outside the realm of my personal space. When I finally realized that prayer is just talking with God and just opening our hearts and minds to him, praying with others became so much easier. It was amazing to see how when I asked the Holy Spirit to give me the words to speak, His words just flowed. I always tell people that I only have the mustard seed faith, but that is enough. I am so very thankful that God sent His son, Jesus, to do it ALL for me! Sally, my prayer for you is that you feel God’s presence in your life as the Holy Spirit leads you to lift all your cares, your longings and all your songs of thanksgiving to God our Father, in Jesus name!

  25. I love this devotion! I too struggle to pray for others; to take the time, to find the words, to be accepted and to believe for results. This word today emboldens me. Thank you Suzie! I love your thoughts when you write!

  26. Lord give me the strength to listen to your voice and pray for those who you placed in my life. In the name of Jesus I pray. a-men.

  27. Paul Wilcox says:

    A very timely article. I used to be much more open about praying in public and praying for strangers but I have allowed myself to be dictated to by the prevailing culture.
    The philippian jailer and his family were saved because Paul and friends were singing hymns AT MIDNIGHT while locked up.
    I am asking God right now to give me back my holy spirit boldness.

  28. kathy wyg says:

    Good Morning…to Suzie…..was this study in your community…or in another church or another state ????…just curious…thanks…..

    Have a blessed day…………..guys………………

    Kathy wyg

  29. This was perfectly written. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times, we say “I’ll pray for you” instead of just praying right then and there. I know that sometimes my “I pray for you” doesn’t even make it to my prayers and I feel like it’s an empty promise. This has encouraged me to change that statement to “let’s pray now”. Prayer is so powerful and beautiful. My husband and I have prayed together everyday since we first started dating and I honestly believe that is why we have such a tight relationship and strong commitment. We pray all the time, and it’s time to start inviting others to pray with us!

  30. Beth O'Keefe says:

    I love how ALIVE the verse from Exodus became in the light of this teaching!

  31. janny holder says:

    My struggles with praying is to pray in the moment no rehearsal, is the hardest thing to do for me because I don’t feel that I am honoring God. If I say the wrong word or not the right prayer for what that person is going through I feel like I am not honoring God. Lord help me and teach me how to pray for others in their time of need. and love and embrace your glory , your love and know that you are with me all the time.

  32. Thank you Suzie for this beautiful reminder. As I am getting older and have experienced “life” a little more each day, I am praying more for other people than myself. I also have prayed over them and with them as well. Romans 8:26-27 helped me get through my separation and divorce years ago and I always share that scripture with anyone that does not know what to pray. ~Lisa~

  33. Our culture does cause us to hold in our faith so not to offend others or make them uncomfortable. This is not God’s way. Jesus walked among Jews whom didn’t like His ways. He did what God called Him to do. I pray that I can be that bold and follow. Blessings, faithfulwalkinprogress.wordpress.com

  34. I tend to look at things differently than most people, but I have to say that the negative connotation of “American culture” and prayer being “intrusive and unwanted” bothers me. I get your point, modern culture is perverse. However, no other country has ever guaranteed our rights to pray publicly and to worship freely like the USA has. Political correctness and snobbery are a part of life, true, but America as it was founded guarantees these individual freedoms. Perhaps we all, myself included, need to work harder at exercising and reclaiming them.

  35. Really on point! My husband and I have had many conversations about this. One thing that helps is, if they reject it, they aren’t rejecting us. They are rejecting God and His power. We’re just the middle man…. or woman.
    Thanks! This was great!

  36. Dorothy says:

    Thank you for this message to pray for people. When I actually listen to the Holy Spirit and pray with someone it is such a blessing from God.

  37. Thank you

  38. I wanted to thank you Suzie, for your vitally significant message about prayer, and for the need to pray for others. I am not going to forget your insight and I want to be that person who asks the question “can I pray for you”.
    You have truly enlightened and encouraged me.
    God bless your ministry,

  39. I don’t struggle to pray for others privately but rarely do I think to stop and pray with someone in the moment. This is something I need to be more aware of.

  40. Ginnie Cobbett says:

    This was beautiful and ministered to my soul. Blessings upon you and yours

  41. This was an ouch moment for me. I never falter at praying silently, but didn’t think about the effect praying out loud could have.

  42. Thanks for such a touching devotional this morning. Prayer is a lifestyle for me. My spiritual parents taught me the power of intercessory prayer and I do not hesitate to pray for others.

  43. Woah! This brings to mind the many prayerless days and opportunities that I have lived and I lament. We (my Christian friends and I) used to pray like that, but over the years it has diminished and perhaps we have either lost heart or lost our fire. How does one get back to that place where not only is our response to a need, a desire to pray, but results in the stepping out of the comfort zone and praying? Like one of the commentators above said,”I’m going to ask God to give me back my Holy Spirit boldness.” Bless you for such honest writing.

  44. Kathy Harris says:

    This so spoke to my heart! We _have_ let our culture dictate to us the when and how of prayer…what a sweet reminder that we are to be obedient to His gentle whispers and then let Him do the work. Thank you Suszie!

  45. Rebekah Cheung says:

    Halfway through reading your powerful message this morning, God gave me TWO opportunities to pray for people on facebook. I stopped what I was doing and immediately answered the Father’s Call. What an amazing and extraordinary gift it is to be inspired and enacted through you, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and the Holy Spirit to carry out God’s Will!

    • Many of my prayer times are with people on social media. Face to face, too, of course, but there are times I see someone post a loss or a heartache and it’s an opportunity to reach across cyberspace and pray.

  46. I’m so used to hearing a prayer request and saying I will add it to my prayer list. But while I do pray, God has been showing me I am missing the opportunities He is placing in front of me when someone asked for prayer. I don’t want to miss His invitation.
    Thank you, Suzie, for the encouragement to answer God’s call with boldness.

    • You are so welcome, Crystal. We all understand that fear and missed opportunities, but we can learn through them. I’m so grateful for your honesty and encouragement.

  47. I was blessed in reading this because once again I am challenged to pray wherever I find myself. Not to allow my fears or feelings of inadequacy. Prayer is a Great weapon we have to use at all times. Thank you, Suzie 🙂

  48. Anita W. says:

    What a great reminder. I had an incident several years ago where I walked into a beauty supply store. The young women behind the counter came from the back of the store and was very red eyed from crying. I asked if you she was alright. She said yes. God wanted me to pray for her right then and there, but I hesitated. I paid for my goods and walked out to my car. God said “go back in and pray for her.” I got into my car saying to myself, ” God I can pray for her right now in my car,” which I did. I drove away praying for her. I have regretted that fear even until this day! I told God “I was sorry and that I would never again allow fear to keep me from praying for someone He tells me to pray for.” I have kept my word and it has been amazing how God is glorified when I am obedient. It does take practice. Just pray like you are talking with a friend, which you are. “Be strong and courageous says the Lord. I am with you always.”
    Thanks Suzie for this reminder.

  49. Oh yes i understand thank God for theconforter the holyghost to teach me how to pray for others i no when God lead me to those who recieve and want
    Jesus read mark 1:23-25 james5:15 people will get save through a demonatration of Jesus power

  50. Some days ago my roommate came to me crying she had heard that her grandfather had passed away. He had cancer. I hugged her and comforted her but I felt the urge to pray for her, with her. But I brushed it off and decided to pray for her later on my own. But I was still asking myself whether I did the right thing by not praying for her. But this devotion showed me its ok to pray. Thank you so much. May God be with you.

  51. A timely word from God for me today.As i was listening and counseling two women at different times i strongly felt the nudge within to pray.But i brushed it aside and moved on.After reading this i realised i missed God’s ministry to them…This is a very good lesson for me to learn directly from God today.Thankyou very much.

  52. I am much braver than I used to be and I pray at work with my peers and patients as the opportunity arrives. My lead in question is “Do you have faith?” Of course, no one can stop our “911” prayers in our heads. As our world continues to be compromising it is good to be praying. Blessings Diana

  53. Elaine P says:

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I too have missed some precious times to pray for someone in need and was afraid I would offend someone or not say the “right” words. That gentle nudging is from the Holy Spirit….I pray that from now on I will always be receptive of His guidance as I pray for others.

  54. Stephanie Frederick says:

    Amen! I am in agreement with this post….the Lord has been teaching this principle to me the last few years.
    I want to be following the Holy Spirit’s leading; even though it still feels a bit awkward, when I feel prompted, I pray for another, sometimes on the phone, sometimes in person, sometimes through correspondence. The more that I “practice” this privilege of prayer, the easier it becomes…may God be glorified!

  55. Thanks so much for your sharing this – I encountered this hesitancy yesterday at work. I expect I’ll be able to overcome it now.

  56. Went to Worship Night in America with Chris Tomlin. It was amazing! They broke into prayer, fervent on your knees prayer. They prayed for our country and each person fighting for lead. I have to say I struggled. When did I decide who was or wasn’t worthy of prayer? Did I forget the King of the World? Thanks for your words of encouragement .❤️ Faithfulwalkinprogress.wordpress.com

  57. RebeccaLynn says:

    This actually resonates precisely with the message that was put on my heart for the next LiveFreeThursday prompt. I was asked to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses who had been coming to my door for many weeks. It was SO difficult on many levels. And one of the most difficult was the moment when I asked if I could pray before we started our talk. They don’t pray to Jesus. In fact, it’s VERY taboo to them. My heart was already beating a million miles an hour because I am NOT good with speaking my words (like dear Moses, perhaps). So imagine how my heart dropped when they said “No.” But God gave me a strength beyond my own – and He encouraged me to ask again. I did … and where it led may not have been to the place I was hoping, but it was a start! I can’t wait for God to work these words in me for next Thursday. He is so good! And when we listen to His prompting … He works the impossible and an through us!

  58. thank you! another reason I struggle is that I feel I am ‘not good at it’ but GOD hears and also scripture says that if so the Spirit may change the words or something like that I think so if others feel that way – I was led to type this.

  59. I’m not as uncomfortable as I used to be praying for people in public, but I still need to work at it. A friend of mine once told me never to wait or to promise you will pray. Do It Now. I always regret not listening to the Holy Sprit about praying for someone. I don’t think it matters how awkward you feel, if it helps someone, then go ahead and pray. I’ve been blessed and healed all because someone took the time not only to pray but to love me through it.

  60. Melissa says:

    Thank you Suzie! You put words to my feelings. So inspiring. Thank you.

  61. Lately I’ve been having this desire to start a prayer group. I have two daughters, 9 & 12, and they have many friends- some believers some not. I want to ask their Moms to join me in covering our girls and their schools in prayer weekly. Truth is, I haven’t prayed about this yet. Don’t want selfish motives! Please give me discernment Lord.

  62. My words never sound right. So many people I know have the most beautiful prayers, that are so soothing and comforting. I wish I was able to this. Mine always just sound like I am rambling along. What can I do?

  63. Thanks for sharing!

  64. I have to share a story. My father was having an outpatient procedure at a local hospital. I was in the waiting room and struck up a conversation with a lady. I’m one of those “chatty” people. LOL! We sat side by side for several hours as she waited for her husband who was also having a procedure. I heard God say, “Ask if you can pray for her.” I was like, “Who? Me?!” I ignored it. He spoke to me again, “Ask if you can pray for her.” At this point, God and I entered into a conversation, “God, seriously, you can ask me to ask this complete stranger if I can pray for her.” God is relentless. “Ask if you can pray for her.” So, I turned to the woman and said, “Is there anything I can be praying about for you?” I was all ready for her to answer, “Oh thank you, yes…” Instead, she replied, “No, I think I’m okay.” I was like, “WHAT?! Really God, are you serious.” Then I realized, His direction to me wasn’t so much for the woman as for me. I needed to learn obedience to His calling. I will never know how He used my obedience in that instant with that woman or those around us. But I know He used it to remind me it is always time to pray and when He calls me to, He has a reason.

  65. Thank you for your faithful ministry. I use to be hesitant in public with people but no more and I find they appreciate it. I also for long prayers am most comfortable praying as I type and send out to those I am praying for. in the name of Jesus Christ. People see to like getting e-mails of prayer for them but I have had a few who think I am violating “go into a closet and pray.” What is your take on this. The Bible has a huge number of prayers and many of them Christians pray those prayers. To me is if my intent is to bring praise to me then I should not pray and send out by e-mail but it is in the heart and I believe the Holy Spirit can interpret what I pray. Any comments?

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