It takes some guts, boldness, and faith to walk up to someone who you don’t know and offer them solutions and help for whatever problems they might have. But when you are willing to put aside your own sense of awkwardness or feelings of embarrassment at making such a bold offer, and you reach out to share your faith and the answers you have found in Jesus and in His Word, you are offering solutions they may not find anywhere else.
That’s what I love about this particular method of witnessing through praying for others. You may have done it many times, or maybe you never have. Doing this and seeing the impact it can have on people can definitely prove habit-forming. I think that’s what is happening to me.
It’s praying in person for those the Lord leads me to. I find that if I’m open to being His instrument in this way, He will lead me to those who need prayer. I simply say to the person, “I pray for people. Do you have anything that you would like me to pray for?” Of course, this isn’t a method to use with everyone. You probably wouldn’t walk down the street stopping everyone you meet, asking if you could pray for them. But then again, who knows what God may lead you to do. I know a man who takes his kids to a park, where they pray for people who are just casually strolling around or relaxing on a park bench or lounging on the grass. Many people are especially touched when the children show their concern by offering to pray for them.
It’s important that we’re Spirit-led in all things, and in our witness to others in particular, and of course we don’t want to be pushy or offensive. But there are often opportunities where we can offer to pray for people in need: their healing, their salvation, their peace of mind, their loved ones, their financial needs, etc. It seems that many people believe in the concept of praying to a higher power to some extent, and I have found that most people respect my faith in prayer. Those who might not pray themselves or expect personal answers from God nonetheless are often willing to accept an offer of prayer from someone else.
A wholehearted prayer that is prayed in full faith can have a powerful impact on the one you’re praying for. Have you ever wondered why that is? It could be because:
It shows that you care about them personally; you are willing to take your time to understand their needs. Such fundamental yet sincere caring can be outstanding, or even life-changing.
This is a different experience for most people, so it gets their attention and causes them to stop and think about God and the spiritual realm.
Often it helps them to feel God’s presence in a tangible way. As you lay your hand on their arm or take their hand, God often manifests His presence to them through the Holy Spirit and they know that something special is happening. Some cry. Others feel a calm and peace settle over them. When you pray for someone, the Lord in His all-encompassing love and care will always answer. It may not always be in the way expected, but we know He will manifest Himself to them in some way, and this can be a powerful proof to them and others of His love and care.
The effect of your prayers doesn’t end when you leave their side. When they see things change, they may realize that God has intervened in their life and done something very special for them. When you pray, the door has been opened for them to know that God loves them and that He is working in their lives.
Your example of simple, faith-filled prayer conveys expectancy. Many people have little experience of prayer beyond formal, impersonal prayers. Your prayer alone can be a little class on prayer, as you pray from your heart just as you would ask help of a dear and trusted friend. Witnessing such an intimate connection with the God of the universe can have a profound effect on that person’s faith to reach out and personally discover the power of prayer.
Your prayers demonstrate the absolute certainty in your heart that God hears you. Your trust in God’s desire to answer prayer can bring them the hope that He loves them.
Even if people are too embarrassed to have you pray for them on the spot, you can offer to pray for them privately after you leave. This can help them to realize that God understands them and is willing to take them where they’re at.
You can approach it any way you want, but when you say, “I pray for people,” it shows you do it regularly and are well versed in it. It also shows that you’re not singling them out for some strange reason, but that you pray as a matter of course. It engenders confidence in you.
For those you encounter on a regular basis, your prayers can continue to help them build a stronger connection with the Lord. For example, whenever you come in contact with someone whom you feel led to reach out to and have a few moments to talk, you can ask how they’re doing and offer to pray for any needs they may have. The more they sense their life being touched by your prayers, the more they will be willing to pour out whatever is burdening them. God’s personal touch through your prayers brings them closer to Him. It can develop a deeper personal relationship between them and the Lord.
Praying for someone is a simple act of selfless care and giving. It can melt the hardened exterior of a heart that has found little genuine, unselfish love. A few moments of letting God express His love through you to someone in need can change a life forever. It’s such a small price for us to pay to follow His example, but it results in such priceless benefits for those who need Him.
If you haven’t tried it lately, I encourage you to do so. We are training how to share your faith http://evangelismexplosion.org/training/
and if you would like to support me in giving these training classes http://evangelismexplosion.org/support/online-giving/ and under Designation* put VVarriale
God bless you