I am a cradle Catholic, meaning I’ve been Catholic my whole life. I am loud but my prayer life is quiet. That’s how we Catholics, by and large, roll.
My daughter, Rachel, just finished her third year at a private Christian (non-Catholic) college. Her journey has been perfect for her and I am incredibly grateful for those people that have built into my daughter.
Her Christian friends do NOT only pray privately, they pray straight on up to Jesus Himself, out loud and on fire. They pray in groups. They pray over others.
Now, some of that IS starting to happen in my home church, especially since we have started the Christlife program, which is evangelistic and amazing. Read more about that here in Discovering Christ at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Goddard, Kansas.
But, by and large, our entire church is private in their prayers.
I am not making a judgment either way, it just is what it is.
HOWEVER, no matter if you are a Charismatic Christian or a Private Prayer Warrior, I want to share
7 (easy) Words That Will Change How You Pray for Others.
They are natural to say and they have made a HUGE, HUGE impact.
So, here’s my normal: when someone is struggling with something, I automatically say these five words to them,
“I will pray for you.”
Five words that sound sincere but if I am honest, I don’t always pray for that other person. Gross, I know.
The words have become a habit, my “God bless you,” after a sneeze.
My now-on-fire-for-Jesus-and-life Rachel taught me a better way.
She taught me seven words that radically changed the dynamic.
Here are the seven words:
“How can I pray for you today?”
It’s the “HOW CAN I” that makes all.of.the.difference.
Let me show you a real life example of this.
On Sunday I dropped my Mitchell off at The Spiritual Life Center; he will be a Totus Tuus camp counselor and they have training all week.
His good friend, Matt, is the new Director of Camp Totus Tuus.
I saw Matt in the hallway and we began chatting.
I asked him about his thoughts about camp and he was sharing some things. Nothing big or hairy, just life things.
Normal Lori Response, “I will pray for you.”
New Lori Response, “How can I pray for you today?”
Matt looked at me and VISIBLY CHANGED. He paused as he thought then he shared, specifically, his greatest needs, fears and potential challenges.
I felt privileged hearing them.
Later on that day, when I had a moment of prayer time, I easily thought of Matt. Why? Because he had given me what had been on his heart.
I prayed for Matt; I prayed specifically for his intentions. Do you know how stunning that felt? I felt part of his life in an authentic way. I was beseeching God for Matt’s REAL needs.
So the next time you want to pray for someone, instead of saying the blanket, “I’ll pray for you,” stop, look them in the eye and sincerely ask them,
“How Can I Pray For You Today?”
They may not respond like Matt responded; they might say, “Oh, I’m fine.” That’s okay. But if you keep using that phrase, you will have those that will take the time to share with you what is really on their heart.
And you can then pray for them in a way that makes a difference, for both of you.
Thank you, Rachel Nicole Doerneman, for all that you bring to our table.