prayerscapes - creative journeys in worship and prayer

creative prayer journeys

Monthly Archives: September 2019

How to Pray for Friends

Julie Palmer on Prayer

Hi, today we’re going to be looking at different creative ways that we can pray for our friends and loved ones. If you know someone at the moment that is going through a difficult time you might find these tips especially useful.

Praying for friends or loved ones is a powerful way of releasing blessing. The spaces between the children of the living God are sacred. No matter how far I am away from my brother physically I am connected to them spiritually. It is important to remember God is outside of this dimension/time frame/distance, he sees the whole of creation from beginning to end. He is the author of love and when we love, we commune with God and breathe out his kingdom of heaven upon the earth. Our prayers are powerful because the Holy Spirit was released into the world when Jesus rose back to life from death. It’s like the Holy Spirit is everywhere…… the same Spirit. It’s mind blowing and world changing! Through him our prayer is everywhere, moving outside us, inside us and through us!  I say this because sometimes we can feel it is a ‘cop out’ to say ’I’ll pray’! So today I am going to give you four ways and suggestions on how we can pray for our loved ones.

  • The first one is to imagine a circle around your friend, a circle of Gods provision and protection. Then pray into that circle light, love and healing, and speak out your specific prayers for them. Name the circumstances/troubles or dreams for their lives. Then imagine that same circle and pray out of the circle, fear, shame, pain, hurt, rejection, disappointment, disillusionment and name and pray out all the specific things that you know are hard for them to hold. (If you find a visual way helpful you can draw a circle then write things in or out of the circle.) Then just entrust these things to God, you may find that the Holy Spirit helps you to discern and intercede for them in new ways as you pray in this way.
  • The second way I call “target prayers”. Begin by taking a blank sheet of paper and writing down the name of each person you are thinking of praying for. Alongside each name just write a word which sums up what you hope for that person. At times it is helpful to distil our prayer in this way, like hitting the centre of a dartboard, all our faith is aimed at one word! You can even go back over these short prayers daily! Even hourly! I find that this way helps if you have many friends or family who are facing hard times, because sometimes we can be overwhelmed by the needs of others around us.  Remember our prayers intertwine with the prayers of others, with the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit and praying something is always better than praying nothing! God is more than able to work through our prayers no matter how simple they are.
  • The third suggestion is one of open blessing. Imagine your friend in your own mind and your heart and allow the Holy Spirit to give you a song! it might be a song that you sing at church, it might be a song that you remember from childhood, it might be a song from a more contemporary setting or if you’re very creative it might be a few words and melody that you spontaneously sing. Sing it softly, sing it loudly and sing it over and over as you think of that person. You may find you change the tense to create a blessing.  For example, “Jesus, be her centre, be her hope, be her song Jesus”. God has put us in relationship for a reason. We are the body of Christ, and the body works in unison! When one part of that body is poorly the other parts of the body shift and change to accommodate, when one limb has a limp the other parts take more weight. When you are hard of hearing your ability to lip read increases.  It is said that it’s impossible for two parts of the body to feel pain at the same time, and in a similar way thinking of others draws our focus from our own pain. Let’s be aware of each other, pray for one another, look after one another. When we pray, God will answer those prayers and there will be this flow of blessing, love, promise and hope between us as we become brothers and sisters united with our Father in heaven.
  • Lastly there are times when our concern and feelings for someone we love are overwhelming. There are no words, we run deep with feeling but dry in how to pray. I suggest you find something that represents that person, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you…a stone from the beach, a favourite toy, an item like a clock or clothing or a photo. Then use this as your prayer. Sit and lift you heart to God and hold out the object that represents that person. God loves to talk with us but understands sometimes there are no words. When my son was going through a hard time, I found I would start to pray but end up just worrying about him. Prayer stirred up a lot of concerns but left me tired and more confused! So a friend recommended another way. I found a stone. I was drawn to it because it was heavy and an awkward shape to hold. Every time I felt overwhelmed with grief or worry I would pick it up, and hold it before God. I would cry at times, and that’s OK too! Sometimes I would kneel, other times I would feel peace immediately as I presented my prayer to God. Silence in prayer allows our hearts to rest, to have peace. We can take our troubles quietly to the foot of the cross and trust in the redeeming power of Christ!

Some final thoughts

Well I hope that these suggestions are helpful. So here’s these four different ways of praying for your friends again – pray a circle prayer by praying in the good stuff and out the bad. Try praying target prayers. Thirdly, sing a blessing song for them and finally try holding a physical representation of prayer before God. The other thing just to mention is how powerful it can be to let others know we are praying. It could be a card, a gift of flowers, a text, or an offer to visit and pray with them. At times I have even recorded prayers and sent them to others, so they can hear that prayer over and over. So, as we care for friends let’s be creative, encircling them not just in spoken prayer but with prayer gifts, prayer songs, prayer pictures, prayer company!  

Thank you so much for all the comments that you’ve been leaving us about our prayer films. We love to read them. Maybe there are ways which you pray for your friends that I haven’t mentioned? If so, do leave them below. And until next time, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

An Inspirational Blessing Prayer

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

Hi, having spent many years crafting prayers, songs and films for Prayerscapes, it feels like the right time to open up and get closer to those of you who have always responded to our creative offerings. So, in these short films, we will share with you some of our journey, prayer ideas, inspiration and wisdom we have found as we have sought to reveal the love and light of Christ. If you have not yet subscribed to our Youtube channel do take a moment to do so, as there are many more inspirational videos in the pipeline that we would love you to see and experience.

When we wrote and recorded ‘May The Road Rise Up to Meet You’, we could not have imagined the ways in which it would have been received, used and cherished by others. We’ve been overwhelmed by the emails and messages we’ve had about how this song has touched people, whether it be at baby dedications, or marriages, or as a blessing at funeral of a loved one. All this made me think – why has this simple Celtic Blessing been so powerful in effecting so many people?

I think one of the reasons is that proclaiming this blessing over another is a very powerful and releasing thing! We bless others with the authority that Christ gave us as children. Blessings change, they renew, and they create security and sanctuary. In a world filled with comparison, judgement, jealousy, competition, criticism and envy, it is a wonderfully unexpected thing! This simple prayer is such an inspiring blessing which rolls out like a beautiful and holy land, ahead of loved ones, soft grace soil on which to tread.

My husband wrote this little blessing song for me when my second son was a baby. For those of you who have lived through a similar season, you’ll know it’s messy! At the time I was often walking out very early in the morning with a crying baby, so as not to wake the rest of the household! It was just one of those seasons where I felt vulnerable, I felt ashamed to be pacing the streets in the dark mornings, not to have the answers, not to be the perfect family. I often felt myself welling up with tears as I pushed my baby boy around. I just trudged on as we all do sometimes. I remember I did cry as he sang me the song and its words did hold and keep me through that time.

So, if you are in this hard place, through illness, anxiety, grief, trial or loss, I sing this to you…. allow this little song to lay a soft blessing under your feet. And then go ahead of someone else and lay this blessing for them. It will become for them a lullaby, soothing and gracious. It might be that the Holy Spirit leads you to physically be this blessing to soften someone’s walk with service, understanding or generosity. And why not say the blessing in unexpected ways? Say it behind another, soaking your thoughts and feelings for them in love. Receive this blessing, give this blessing, be this blessing, live this blessing!

Thanks for connecting with us today. And as I said earlier, we’ve lots on new videos coming soon, so if you haven’t already, do subscribe at Youtube, and we look forwards to seeing you real soon in our next film!

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