How to Pray For Others With True Concern

Prayer should include the true concerns of the one we care for, not just our own agenda. Lisa explains.

“Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.” (Psalm 86:6-7)

I recall the day a woman asked me to pray with her before she went to the hospital for tests. I called her and we talked and then I prayed for her out loud. I asked God to be with her, comfort her, and to allow her to feel the same pain she had been feeling recently. For God to not give her a pain-free day as the tests were done.


Because have you experienced when you know something is “off” with your body for weeks and then the day you go to get the tests done the pain disappears or lessens? Sometimes the pain is so absent that people who administer the tests wonder why you are even having the test done? You may even think, “Thanks, Lord! You’ve healed me!” and then by the time you climb back into bed that night the pain has returned.

Rather than having my friend be required to go through multiple tests for them to be able to find what was causing the pain, I prayed that it would be revealed immediately so she had the best chance of it being treated.

As I said, “Amen,” she kind of laughed. “You’re the first person who has ever prayed for me to be in pain, Lisa!”

So often we assume we know what people want prayer for, and that usually results in us praying for healing. There is nothing wrong with God healing us–nor prayer for it–and yet, could we be missing an opportunity to let the person know that we really care? We are really listening? Prayers for comfort and healing can easily slip into sounding canned, as if we were pulling out our “prayer for the sick” notebook in our head an just reciting it.

What other concerns or worries might a loved one who is suffering have on his or her mind–other than healing?

We all have a long list of things we could quickly share–our kids and how our illness is affecting them, our financial priorities of what gets paid, the doctor’s skills–maybe even where we are living or what we will find for a meal tomorrow. Might some of these specifics be awesome to pray for in addition to a physical healing?

As we celebrate Invisible Illness Awareness Week and talk about some assumptions people have–including ourselves–let us remember to think outside the box of what we can or should pray for. God is eager to meet all our needs–not just our physical ones.

Psalm 86:7 says, “In the day of my trouble I will call to You, for You will answer me.” If today is your day of trouble, call out to God. Don’t assume He only hears the big prayer requests or that they go into a que in order of priority. He cares.

Prayer: God, help me remember that You want to hear all the burdens on my heart and the concerns of those I know as well. Allow me to be vulnerable enough to ask people to pray for some things I really desire prayer for and remind me to ask others what they would like prayer for as well, without assumptions. Amen.

About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.

Do you pray about everything or do you put it order of what you think God will consider most important? Have you ever had someone pray for you that included a request for something you had never thought of?

One of the songs I love to blast in my car and sing along to is Cee Cee Winan’s “He’s Concerned About You.” Weeping may endure for a night, but that is not how our story ends. I hope this song blesses you as it has me during some difficult times over the years. -Lisa