Written by Cindy Palin
Watching my grandmother pray didn’t mean much to me when I was a child. But now that my grey hair is beginning to show, memories of Grandma sitting at her kitchen table, bowing her grey head over her tattered prayer list, are hallowed to me.
My grandmother’s obedience in prayer was instrumental in saving my life as a teenager. One day she called asking to pray with me because she’d dreamed I was killed in a car accident. Out of respect, I went to pray with her. One week later I was in a car accident where the car spun off the road and I was thrown through the windshield.
Amazingly, I escaped without harm. My physical life was spared and a new spiritual awakening began. I pray for others because I saw it modeled before me. Where my grandmother left off, I continue.
Christ’s disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, and He gave us an example (Matthew 6:9-13). I encourage leaders to pray and teach the Lord’s Prayer as an act of obedience and submission to God’s order for the day. You will reap benefits of peace and joy knowing that “God’s got this.” I have discovered that praying the Lord’s Prayer alongside the staff and volunteers at the pregnancy centre where I work has become a joyful exercise of unity.
Over the years, I have practised praying for others through song. Reading through Deuteronomy introduced me once again to a prayer song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32). The act of prayer is turning one’s heart to God. As we pray our spirit is directed by the Holy Spirit, and He intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27).
I have recognized a consistent pattern of direction in my song prayers. The lyrics always move from request to resolution, and even though I begin writing with someone else in mind I am always left with a personal spiritual challenge to adjust my life to the truth.
Have you ever prayed for someone by inserting their name into a biblical text? Paul’s prayers are an excellent source for praying Scripture. Paul’s desire for his converts to flourish in the faith is inspirational (Ephesians 1:15-23). This is an excellent way to pray for your mentees, and an effective example for them should they happen to be uncomfortable about praying spontaneously.
If people are concerned about praying aloud, they may wish to write prayers down on paper and then speak them, even keep them in a journal to revisit and repeat. Revisiting prayers that have been dated can be very uplifting as you reflect on what has changed, and how God has answered them.
Most importantly reading God’s Word and talking to Him goes hand in hand. I wrote this song prayer in 1997 as I battled in prayer for a brother,
Here’s to the Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2)
Put your past behind you, turn your eyes towards His face (Philippians 3:13)
And climb those mountains, ford the oceans to find your place (press on – Philippians 3:14)
You will find your place (Ephesians 2:10)
If He is for you, who is against you (Romans 8:31)
You will find your place
You’re gonna find your place
…and he did. And because I believe God’s Word, I sang it aloud to him and to others and they too were encouraged (Colossians 3:16). Just as my grandmother’s prayers were instrumental in my life, so too my prayers on this brother’s behalf were heard. He escaped and overcame darkness. He ran towards God and continues to do so today, with a wife and family at his side.
It is crucial for believers to practise a life of prayer and to teach others how to do the same. As we are prompted to pray for others, Jesus himself intercedes for us (Romans 8:34).