posted on May 12, 2011 at 9:40 am
Your prayers are powerful!
How often do you pray for complete strangers that you see while you’re out shopping? Do you ever pray for the people that you see standing by a broken-down car on the side of the road?
While out to dinner with friends we saw a man in a truck that had broken-down at a traffic light. Right away, our friends began to pray for him. They prayed for salvation, that he would grow closer to God and feel God’s love. When they finished, my friend Maria turned to me and said, “I always do that. My mom did it when we were growing up and she told us that it’s important because you might be the only person who ever prays for them in their entire life.”
Wow. I didn’t really know what to say to that. I just sat there and thought: What if she’s right? What if no one else ever prays for that man again? To me that is really one of the saddest things I could imagine.
So this week I would like to offer you a challenge, I call it the Prayer Dare – Pray for a stranger! Pray for a person at school whose name you don’t even know. Pray for a teacher. Pray for someone that you see who just looks like they are having a bad day.
It isn’t hard, I’ll give you some steps to follow:
- Walk up to the person and introduce yourself, make sure to get their name. Exercise wisdom, if the stranger is an adult and you are alone, be very careful make sure you are in a public place where others can see you.
- Tell them that you would like to pray for them and ASK them if that is ok with them.
- Ask if there is anything specific going on in their lives that they would like you to pray for.
- If you would like to hold their hand or maybe touch their shoulder while you pray, ASK for permission first. Some people are uncomfortable being touched by a stranger.
- Pray whatever is on your heart for them but make sure it is encouraging, compassionate, and loving. If you feel like God might be telling you something or showing you a picture to share with them, tell them but be wise; if you feel like God is telling you something about sin, DO NOT share that information in public. The goal is to help others know the love of God, NOT to embarrass them.
- After you finish praying talk to them a little bit, you never know you might just make a new friend!
- This is very important – keep anything that they share with you absolutely confidential unless they are being physically harmed by someone, hurting themselves or hurting someone else. Prayer requests are not an excuse for gossip. If there is physical harm involved, ask them if you can share that concern with your parents or your youth pastor so that you can receive guidance to share with them. Even better, offer to go with them if they want to tell an adult about an abusive situation, you never know when you might be just what someone needs to restore their hope.
Now go pray for a stranger this week, I prayer-dare you!
Post your stories back here so that we can encourage each other and because I can’t wait to hear them!
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.