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Interceding for Others: Six Ways to Pray for a Loved One in Need

By Dr. Charles Stanley

You and I can always go to Jesus in our time of need. But what should we do for a friend or loved one going through a crisis? How can we pray for someone God has brought to mind, even if we don’t know the exact details of their situation? 

In Colossians 1:9-12, Paul includes a powerful prayer for his fellow Christians. His example gives us six ways to intercede on another person’s behalf:

1. May my friend be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (v. 9).

God is ready to show us exactly what to do in any given situation. As Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” You don’t have to say, “Show my friend Your will—if it’s Your will.” His promise to do so is sure and clear. Ask the Lord to give your loved one spiritual discernment and clear direction about His desires.

2. May my friend walk in a manner worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ and please God in all respects (v. 10). 

If a person is a believer, then he is called to emulate the life of Christ—his words and behavior should match the character and attitude of Jesus. Pray that your friend would recognize the great privilege of being part of God’s kingdom. If he does not know Jesus as his Savior, ask the Lord to make Himself known in your friend’s life, so that he would become a child of God and give glory to the Lord through obedience and repentance.

3. May my friend bear fruit in every good work (v. 10).

Being busy doesn’t always mean that we are also being fruitful. Pray that your friend will wisely invest his time and resources for the sake of God’s kingdom—to have an eternal impact rather than a temporal one.  

4. May my friend increasingly grow in the knowledge of the Lord (v. 10).

We all have a spiritual hunger that only God can satisfy, though we might try to quench it with other things. Nothing can take the place of a healthy relationship with the Father. Finding spiritual fulfillment is possible only through reading, applying His word to our lives, and observing the results. Pray that your friend will have a hunger for God and seek Him through Scripture.

5. May my friend be strengthened with all power, according to God’s glorious might (v. 11).

If you know someone going through a crisis, don’t stop praying for the power of God to work in his or her life. On behalf of your friend, ask God to provide strength to remain steadfast in the truth, regardless of the circumstances. Keep praying for the person to be empowered to do His will, for His glory.

6. May my friend express joyous gratitude to the Father for His grace (v. 12).

It can be a challenge to remain thankful when we’re experiencing unpleasant circumstances. In order to steal our joy and diminish our witness, Satan often uses times of difficulty to bombard us with destructive thoughts, Pray that your friend will have a thankful heart and share gratitude with others as a testament to the good work of God in his or her life.

Conclusion

As Christians, we are connected to the One who has authority over all things, knows all things, and loves us unconditionally. And He wants to hear the desires of our hearts and give us wonderful blessings. If we come to Him asking for wisdom and the strength to walk in His ways, He will answer our prayers.

Think about somebody whose life you want to impact for eternal good. Spend time each morning petitioning God to work in that person’s life, according to Paul’s example. You can also ask someone to pray for you in this way. Then, as you intercede for others, you will begin to see God change their lives and experience the blessings of His good work.

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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36 comments
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  • January 08, 2012 01:38 PM

    by

    God bless you for writing this. I have been trying to pray for my friend but I did not know how to go about it. This is a wonderful guide.
  • October 31, 2011 02:40 AM

    by

    Dr. Stanley is a real man of GOD . A true transparent CHRISTIAN . His teachings are practical and simple to comprehend . Truly a tool of the LORD to bring humanity to himself ( JESUS THE SAVIOR ) . Thank you Dr. Stanley for all you do . GOD BLESS YOU TODAY AND ALWAYS .
  • June 20, 2011 09:10 AM

    by

    I love this list of items to be mindful of when we pray. When we intercede for others, we also come along-side with them. Intercessory prayer is empty unless it comes from relationship. It doesn't have to be a direct relationship, but we need to be engaged or connected to the cause some how. Often the very fact that we desire to intercede is evidence that we are connected. Intersession is like, Holding tightly to Gods hand while I'm reaching out to grab the hand of the one I am interceding for.
  • April 17, 2011 05:21 PM

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    I've been doing intercessory praying in the internet for about 2 weeks now. Going forward, this article will be a great reference for me doing that. Thank you, Dr Stanley.
  • April 04, 2011 02:42 AM

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    This is an amazing prayer..! It covers all of your spiritual being! What more could you ask God to produce in someone's life. Awesome....!!! totally awesome....!!!!
  • March 31, 2011 08:19 PM

    by

    What a perfect way to pray for our loved ones! What can be better than to pray that they discern what the will of God is? That they be filled with the Holy Spirit, and with all Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding! And that they be strengthened with God's power and courage to love, and to please Him, and to obey Him. Amen! A perfect prayer for us all.
  • March 29, 2011 08:48 AM

    by

    Thank you for the insightful ways to pray for someone you love in need.
  • March 24, 2011 08:57 PM

    by

    Lord, Thank you for the life of Dr. Stanley, Bless his life Oh Lord that he will continue the work you began in him. Lord, I also pray for our pastors: Felix, Joe, Sweger and all pastors, give them the strength, courage and wisdom that comes from you. Protect them from evil ones and continue to pour your blessings upon them.
  • March 24, 2011 07:14 PM

    by

    Amazing grace. Jesus is working in my life and the lives of others. It is so important that all humans be saved. Time is short. Jesus may return at any time. I believe we are living in the end times and now is the time that ones spiritual life should be in order before there is no time left. Thank you Dr. Stanley for being a excellent example of what a person of God should be. No one is perfect but you are a excellent example of what we should be. I know I look forward to listening to you on radio and TV and I also enjoy your books. Thank you for not retiring and your continued service to your "flock" and to the Lord. God Bless.
  • March 24, 2011 06:45 PM

    by

    I should read this everyday...It's so easy to read and not remember. I must copy this. Thanks.
  • March 23, 2011 01:58 PM

    by

    I loved your article. Thanks for posting. :)
  • March 23, 2011 01:16 PM

    by

    Exactly what I needd right at this moment. Thank you!
  • March 23, 2011 12:18 PM

    by

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words of wisdom each day. Your messages set the tone for me each day. I have a friend who is going through a trial right now, and I needed these guidelines to be able to intercede for her. I pray God's blessings upon you continuously.
  • March 22, 2011 10:55 PM

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    I ThankYou God, For Dr.stanley. He has been a blessing to me. Please Pray for my family. Gardner's.
  • March 22, 2011 08:18 AM

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    Dr. Stanley, I pray that God will continue to enlighten, strengthen you as you bring His children closer to Him daily. God Bless you and yours abundantly for sharing Christ and teaching us to know Him personally as our saviour. You always touch my heart with your sermon. I see Christ through you as you proclaim His word daily. Thank You.

    Irene
  • March 22, 2011 04:53 AM

    by

    very informative and always a blessing.
  • March 22, 2011 03:59 AM

    by

    Excellent as always
  • March 21, 2011 01:26 PM

    by

    This web site is very inspirational. May God Bless You all

    From: Carmilee Pearson
    Grand Cayman
    Cayman Islands.
  • March 21, 2011 10:05 AM

    by

    THIS IS BEAUTIFULLY NOTED AND MUCH NEEDED CONFIRMATION TO THE THINGS I AM EXPERIENCING.. I GUESS CALLED A "TESTIMONY TO GOD S WILL BEING EXPRESSED IN MY LIFE... THANK YOU JESUS FOR YOUR WORD IN DEED!! THANKU
  • March 20, 2011 05:07 PM

    by

    Excellent Article!
  • March 20, 2011 04:54 PM

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    Thank you Lord for all the trials and all the Godly friends you've put in my life to pray for me. I will stand firm in the Lord and always be thankful for your love, grace and mercy, in Jesus' name, Amen
  • March 20, 2011 03:47 PM

    by

    This is for everyone, as there is no perfect being, and we all need prayer, perhaps some more than others. Thank you for this article--I will use it to pray for those that I know are really struggling right now spiritually. Thank you again, this is a great post!
  • March 20, 2011 03:03 PM

    by

    amazing biblical prayers. Helped my own life.
  • March 20, 2011 12:50 PM

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    Im trying to help my friend who knows the Lord and have a personal reltionshiip wth Him. Her husband commited adultry and left her deep in debt. She has a decision to make concerning their marriage and 2 beatiful children.
  • March 20, 2011 12:44 PM

    by

    This is a very uplifting, educational website. I make a point to look at it everyday. The Daily Devotional is absolutely wonderful. After I read this it sets the tone for my entire day. God has made some amazing changes in my everyday life. He has changed the way I act, the way I think and everything about me.
    May God bless each and every one!

    Sharon Semora

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