How to Pray for Your Neighbor (and anyone else for that matter)

I don’t like it.

I don’t like what’s happening.

I don’t like the decisions others are making.

I don’t like how these decisions are affecting me.

I don’t like my reactions when things don’t go my way.

I don’t like the fears and “what-ifs” that keep me up at night,

and I don’t like the tears and “if-onlys” that haunt my days.

But most of all, I don’t like that I can’t control what’s happening.

It’s not for lack of trying. Oh, I tried! I tried complaining, cajoling, criticizing.

I even tried praying.

I prayed, “Thy will be done… and here’s how I think You should do it!”

Let me tell you, that prayer doesn’t work out so well for me.

I’ve heard “Thy will be done” called the prayer that never fails – but it fails me. It’s from the Lord’s PrayerJesus prayed this prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Me? I’m not so holy: I tend to tack on this line at the end of a litany of complaints, demands and explanations of MY good and pleasing and perfect will.

Sometimes I have really good ideas I’m sure God would like to hear! Maybe He hasn’t thought of patching  relationships back together, zapping my friend’s cancer, or sending a winning lottery ticket. I can help!

God doesn’t need us to give Him advice.

He doesn’t struggle with fears or tears, what-ifs or if-onlys.

But He has given us the Bible as a prayer handbook, a template for praying for ourselves and for others.

When we make our prayers match God’s Word, we can say, “Thy will be done!” with confidence.

Selfishly, this is a surefire way how to get more of your prayers answered!

Spiritually, praying God’s word and God’s will changes you more than it changes God.

Here’s how to pray for yourself, your family, your neighbor – and anyone else. 

 

Printable Prayer Guide

Here’s a pretty printable of these prayers you can download to your phone, or print it out for your fridge or Bible.

How to Pray for Your Neighbor (and anyone else for that matter)

Fill in your own names and situations in these prayers, based solely on Scripture –

 

How to pray for wisdom

Lord, I pray that _________________ would seek You first in everything she does. Please turn her heart to You, and give her the desire to know you and serve you. When she is seeking You, help her to make wise decisions based on Your ways and Your word. Create a hunger in her for You; make her curious about You. Give her the gift of faith to believe that following You will cause everything else in her life to fall into place.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Matthew 6:33

 

How to pray for patience 

Dear heavenly Father, I pray that Your Spirit would fill _________________ with sincere kindness and sacrificial love. Please help him to be patient with others, with himself and with his circumstances. May he be peace-loving and persevering. Give him hope to endure this difficult time. When he comes through on the other side, may he not be bitter or vengeful. Grow his faith in you and show Him your faithfulness, too.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

 

How to pray for someone’s marriage

Dear God, please bless _________________ and _________________ with a love that overflows out of their love for you. Gently lead them to spiritual maturity and knowledge of Your will for their home. Teach them Your priorities for their family. May they each follow You on a path of righteous living so that they can live together in confidence and trust. May other see their marriage and marvel, giving You praise for all You have done in their hearts.  

I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Philippians 1:9-11

 

How to pray for yourself

Oh, God – I need You! Please encourage me in my faith. Comfort me with your love. May all my relationships be sweet because Your Spirit fills me. Soften my heart and give me grace to be compassionate. Please bring unity and harmony to my family and help me to respect different personalities and opinions. May my love for You motivate me to work with others to solve life’s problems. Bring us to agreement and solidarity; drive out selfish desires and personal ambitions. May Your Spirit make me humble, and may I have the confidence to think of others’ needs before my own. Help me to be Christlike in every encounter You bring to me today. 

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Philippians 2:1-5

How can we pray for you?

 

How have you seen God answer your prayers?

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