Often I attend prayer meetings where various requests for healing, finances, safety in travel, or job promotions are divvied out. Naturally, we desire prayer for such things. But a closer look at God’s Word would reveal deeper and more divinely inspired ways to pray for friends and family.
Is there a cancer? Yes, prayer for healing is in order, but so is prayer for the robust blessings of Ps. 119:140: “Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them.” How rich to pray, “Lord, this cancer is testing Your promises in the life of my friend who is ill, but You are faithful to every promise You’ve made to her. May Your servant love Your promises through this time of testing.”
Is there a need for finances? Yes, prayer for needed money is in order, but so is prayer for the rewards of Prov. 15:17: “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” How invigorating to pray, “Lord, financial blessing isn’t the focus; Your Word says that love should be. May we learn to live on little if it means leaning harder on You, as well as each other.”
When I pray for disabled children I know, I intercede with Mt. 19:14 in mind: “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ ” In verse 15 we’re given a picture of Jesus tenderly placing His hand on each child. “Lord Jesus,” I’ll say, “Your heart went out to children when You walked on earth. I can picture You tousling their hair, bouncing them on Your knee, and laying Your hands on their heads to bestow a blessing. If Your heart went out this way to the boys and girls who could walk up to You, how much more must Your heart overflow toward little Jeanette with spina bifida or Benjamin who has cerebral palsy? Today, may they feel Your hand of blessing on their heads.”
Often it’s good to quote an entire passage, substituting a person’s name for the pronoun in the passage. Colossians 1:9-12 is a good example of scripture to pray this way: “I ask God to fill Susan with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And I pray this in order that Susan may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work she does, being strengthened with all power, so that she may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father.”
Remember, God’s Word is alive, active, and powerful. Prayers laced with the Word of God not only bring about fundamental changes in people and situations, but such prayers keep us in touch with God’s priorities. Weaving God’s Word into our prayers brings His purposes to the forefront of every request.