How your toothbrush can help you pray for your friends [and other top tips]
Romans 12v12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” This is one of those Bible verses that I look at and think yes, yes, yes… in theory… but in practice – does my life look like this?
Are you the kind of person who wants to pray for your friends regularly but if you’re honest you’re just a bit rubbish at it? Me too. I have Christian friends who I want to pray for. I have friends who aren’t Christians who I want to pray for. So how can we stick at it? Well, in no particular order, here’s my 4 top tips:
1. Be a Friend
It might seem a simple place to start, but usually, the more you like someone the more you’ll want to pray for them. The better you know someone the better you’ll be able to pray for them. So be a good friend, spend time, have fun, and then it should be a natural step to start talking to God about that person. We may only have a few years with our friends at school / college before heading off to uni, but with God’s help those few years could have eternal significance!
2. Think ‘toothbrush’
Want to pray for someone every day? Well, think about all the things you are already ‘committed’ to doing every day?
Brushing your teeth?
Drying your hair?
Making a brew?
Walking to college?
Could you make a commitment to pray for a particular friend whilst you do each of those things?
3. 5 magic words
Disclosure: These words are quite hard to say. Especially the first time. But I promise you, if you get into the habit of regularly saying these 5 magic words, you’ll become someone who is brilliant at praying for your friends. So here they are: ‘Shall we pray about it?’
I dare you to say these words, [and then actually pray for your friend!]
They’re the kind of words you can say in most situations.
Maybe start by saying them this week to your closest Christian friend and see how it goes. It might feel a bit awkward if you’ve not prayed together before, but what’s the worst that can happen?!! You don’t have to turn it into a big, serious prayer meeting, just say the 5 magic words and then pray a simple, short prayer together. Simple! And the more you say those 5 magic words, the easier it gets! In fact I know people who never want to have conversations with me about church or God – but if I tell them I’m praying for them, they’re genuinely touched! You may be surprised how open your mates are to prayer.
4. Watch and see
The best inspiration to pray is when we see God answering our prayers. Maybe try praying for a college friend every day for a week and see what happens? A group of girls I meet with has just decided to write down all the things we pray for each other and then keep looking back to see how God answers our prayers. The more we notice what God is doing, the more we’ll be encouraged that prayer works, pray is important, prayer is powerful. And hopefully, we’ll learn to stick at it.
The most important thing about prayer is to practice, to keep going, to never give up – and even if you do give up for a while, try again! You have a few precious years with your school/college friends and maybe at the moment they don’t seem at all interested in God. But prayer is powerful, and God is interested in them! So stick at it, and watch to see what God does through your prayers!
Romans 12v12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Lizzi manages the schools team at Brighton-based charity, Off The Fence. She also has a new found love of gardening (and yes, she realises that makes her sound old!)