I have discovered that one of the VERY best ways to lift my despairing soul is to pray for others. When I first started serving in our church’s prayer room, the enormous stack of prayer cards scared me. My brain whispered to my heart, “This is going to be so depressing.” But as I finished the hour praying for other’s needs, I felt lighter. After a month of weekly visits to our prayer room, my heart and mind agreed: Praying for others brings healing to my soul.
The Bible gives us evidence that this practice of praying (serving others) brings great reward.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38
… in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. (Job 42:10)
Did you know that about Job? Seriously, that guy had plenty to despair over. Yet he served his friends (the ones who told him to curse God and die). And his fortunes were restored.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we launch out praying for others for the purpose of blessing or having our fortunes doubled. I’m preaching to myself and inviting you to experience the gift that comes from ignoring the voice within us that is screaming for justice, attention, and relief long enough to serve other despairing ones. We can trust that it will be used for their good, God’s glory and in our lives for more good than it cost us in time and attention.
You may have a church prayer ministry that you can join today. I hope you will prayerfully consider doing that. Create your own prayer ministry using the opportunities you have to pray for others as you sit, walk, drive, watch the news, visit other cities and countries.
When our hearts are heavy it is hard to think of what to pray for others. Here are simple prayers based on Scripture that you can pray in the name of Jesus Christ over your own home, neighborhood, church, and other countries.
Your Home –
We desire to do nothing out of ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility we choose to value others above ourselves. Guide us, teach us, empower us Lord. Philippians 2:3
We are filled with the fruit of salvation – the righteous character produced in our lives by Jesus Christ – we live to bring much glory and praise to God. Philippians 1:11
Your Streets, Neighborhood, City
Lord, grant those who dwell in ________ the overwhelming desire to think about You and Your promises, even through the night. Psalm 119:148
Lord, give the people of ________ eternal life, so that they will never be lost. No one can snatch _____ out of Your hand. John 10:28
Your Church/ Any Church
Fill ________ minds Lord with a real knowledge and experience of Your love for them as Father. Grant them the joy of being Your children. 1 John 3:1
Lord, help _______ to agree wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Philippians 2:2
Almighty God, grant the employees the irresistible desire to praise You for Your great love and the wonderful things You have done in their hospital. Psalm 107:8-9
Father, let the patients and their families’ souls be at rest again, as they think on Your goodness to them. Psalm 116:7
Your Country / Other Countries
Lord, turn _________’s eyes from worthless things, and give them life through Your Word. Ps 119:37
Lord, overwhelm ________’s leaders with an eagerness for Your laws rather than a love for money. Psalm 119:36
You can offer these prayers within mere moments of your day knowing that your time in God’s presence brings joy and serving others brings blessing into your own life.
How can you intentionally work these or other life-giving, Kingdom-building, joy-restoring prayers into your day?