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How to Pray for Others

Tips for storming the heavens on behalf of those you love.

Praying for others

I’m always glad to pray for someone else, but sometimes, in the midst of life’s busyness I wonder how to do it. Recently I was reminded by my friend–and longtime Guideposts writer–Roberta Messner just what to do.

More than two years ago I was hospitalized with a serious lung infection. None of the doctors knew quite what had caused it and how best to treat it. All I knew was I felt worse than I had ever felt before.

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Word went out through Facebook and emails and this site that I was in need of urgent prayers. Roberta was one of those friends who prayed for me.

At the time she was working as a nurse at a large Veterans Administration hospital hundreds of miles away from the hospital where I was a patient. Recently she told me just what she did.

“I actually entered your name on my patient roster each morning,” she said. “Before I saw any of my patients, I asked God to specifically nudge your caregivers to wash their hands and use aseptic technique for all procedures…

“I prayed that you would have adequate nutrition, that you would be able to cough up secretions, that you wouldn’t have to be placed on a ventilator, that your physicians would have knowledge and insight from above and know what medications would be most effective…

“That you would be able to sing for God’s glory better than ever after this episode and that God would be nearer and dearer to Carol [my wife] than ever before.”

With prayers like that is it any surprise that I made a full recovery?

In addition to Roberta’s touching and heartfelt words of prayer, there was a level of practicality. Putting my name on her roster, keeping the thought up front where she could access it.

I’ve often thought of Roberta as a spiritual mentor. Once again, here is a wonderful reminder. When you need to pray for someone, put their name in place you can easily remember it (I like to scribble them down on Post-It notes that I leave on my desk or put in my pocket).

And then use all your knowledge and wisdom to storm the heavens. She did. And does. I give thanks for her. 

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