A note from Kelly King: When I am hurting or I’m ministering to someone in pain, prayer is the first place I run. But, have you considered how you pray for others in pain? Kaye’s article today offers some insight about not just the importance of prayer, but the importance of how we pray. May we all be learners.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul admonishes us to “pray continually” (NIV). In Philippians 4:6-7 he says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
Prayer is important!
Scripture mandates it.
Jesus models it.
Prayer is also the only thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them.
Luke 11:1, “It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples’” (NASB).
Not “teach us to heal” or “teach us to preach,” but “teach us to pray.”
Before you decide you already know how to pray and navigate to another article, have you ever considered the idea that you could actually pray in a way that does harm? As a woman in ministry or in caring for others, your words have influence. Your words carry weight, especially when a person is in the fog of crisis or pain. What we say matters. How we pray matters more.
Here are three ways we could potentially do harm when we pray:
- Making declarative statements regarding God’s specific will. Statements such as, “I know she will get this job” or “I know God wants to heal her from this.”
- Making declarative statements regarding our will for them. Statements that declare our plan or best next steps instead of helping her see God and surrender to His plan.
- Making statements of shame. Statements such as, “Help them see they are in this situation because they don’t spend enough time with you.”
Our prayers should be filled with words that bring life and healing—words of faith, hope, and love, especially when praying with someone who is hurting.
As you pray, consider directing your words in this way:
- Use declarative statements regarding God’s general will. Statements that remind her that it is always God’s will for us to love one another, forgive one another, live in unity, and to be grateful.
- Use declarative statements regarding God’s character. Regardless of our circumstances or experiences, God is love, holy, just, righteous, faithful, kind, wise, and trustworthy. He is faithful. He is for us, never against us. For the believer, He promises His peace, His presence, His power, and to be our satisfaction. He hears us, He knows us, He loves us, He created us, He gave us a purpose, and He has a plan for us. And so much more!
- Use the only words that have the power to heal, transform, guide, give hope to the hopeless, and help to the helpless—God’s Word! Praying Scripture is powerful in that it is both true and transformative.
I hope these are helpful reminders for you as you minister to and pray for women who are hurting.
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. They live in the Chicago burbs where they are both on staff at Willow Creek Community Church. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.