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How to Pray

How To Pray Over Someone: Intercessory Prayer

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Do you desire to pray effectively over your loved one? Do hear others pray these long, eloquent prayers and wonder if their prayers are better? Thankfully, praying over someone is pretty simple and no eloquence is required. You just need to remember one simple truth, when you pray over someone, you are interceding on their behalf. 

how to pray over someone

Intercessory Prayer: The Key To Learning How to Pray Over Someone

When you are praying over someone, you are engaging in intercessory prayer. That may seem like an intimidating term, but there is a simple idea behind it. 

What is Intercessory Prayer?

Intercessory prayer is interceding or pleading on behalf of someone else. 

For example, let’s say you witness a crime and you see the wrong person get arrested. At the trial, you appear before the judge and plead on behalf of the wrongly accused. You tell the judge you saw the whole thing and the court is prosecuting the wrong person. 

That is intercession. You have placed yourself between the judge and the accused and made a case to help the accused go free.

When you intercede, you have placed yourself in between two parties. In the case of prayer, you are placing yourself between the other person and God and you are pleading on their behalf. And that is an important place to be. 

The spiritual battle is raging and the enemy wants to keep people from experiencing the goodness of God. Prayer allows us to insert ourselves in the battle and fight on behalf of those we care about. (To set up a war room prayer battle plan, feel free to check out my article, Spiritual Warfare: Prayer Battle Plan.)

Why We Can Boldly Intercede?

When you are praying for someone, it helps to image that you are standing before the throne of God. The idea may seem a bit scary, but Jesus made it possible for us to approach God with confidence and boldness. 

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV)

Through the accomplished work of the cross, we are no longer enemies of God. We have been adopted into His family and can approach him as boldly as a child will approach a loving father. 

We can also boldly approach God because God himself has told us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. In Ephesians 6:18 he even instructs us to continually pray for other believers. 

18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (ESV)

We have therefore been invited to come to God’s throne on a continual basis and intercede on behalf others. We need not be timid because God longs to hear us and wants us there always. 

What Do You Say During Intercessory Prayer?

I wanted to establish the importance of approaching God with confidence first, because that sets the tone for what we will proceed out of our mouths. A timid heart will produce a timid prayer. But when we approach God with confidence, our prayers will be bold and we are less likely to struggle with what to say. 

So now that you are ready to pray over someone, what do you say? It is simple. Just talk to God. Tell him the problem. Ask him to help your son or daughter, or husband, or friend, or neighbor, etc. A prayer does not need to be long or convoluted to be effective. A prayer just needs to be uttered. 

Why Our Prayers Need Not Be Perfect?

Our prayers do not need to be perfect because God has set up a great system to help us out.

Romans 8:26-27 tells us that because our prayers are indeed imperfect and we do not always know exactly what to say, the Spirit himself intercedes. 

 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)

As if that is not enough, God also has Jesus interceding for us as it says in Romans 8:34, 

34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died–more than that, who was raised–who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (ESV)

Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede on our behalf on a continual basis. With their intercession covering us, we can now confidently intercede and pray on behalf of others. 

The Power of Praying Scripture Over Someone

If you want to take your prayer life up a notch, then my recommendation is to pray scripture over the subject of your prayers. God’s word is powerful. Through his Word, he created the world. He said the simple words, “Let there be light,” and light appeared and so it was with the rest of creation. 

The power of his Word is echoed in Isaiah 55:11, 

11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

There is power in his words and thankfully we can use those words in our prayers.

Romans 8:26

Sample Prayers to Use when Praying Over Someone

With the power of his Word in mind, I have put together a few sample prayers to use as you grow in your prayer life. This is by no means a complete list of possible scriptures to use in prayers, but it is enough to get you started. (Also feel free to check out my article, 5 Prayers to Pray Over Your Children). 

Praying Over an Unbelieving Loved One

Father I pray Ezekiel 11:19 over (name of person). I pray that you will give him/her one heart, and a new spirit that you will put within him/her. Remove their heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh. 

Praying Over Someone That is Sick

As it says in Jeremiah 17:14, heal (name of person), O LORD, and he/she shall be healed; save him/her, and he/she shall be saved, for you are my praise. I also align my words, Lord, to James 15:5 where it says that the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, that is (name of person) and the Lord will raise him/her up. And if he has committed sins, he/she will be forgiven.

Praying Over Someone With Addiction

Lord, as it says in I Corinthians 6:12 I know that all things are lawful (name of person), but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for (name of person), but he/she will not be dominated by anything. 

Praying Over Someone in Ministry

Father, I pray that (person’s name) speech and his/her message will not be in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that the faith of those they are trying to reach might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

Praying Over Someone for Spiritual Growth

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray Ephesians 3:16-19 that according to the riches of your glory you may grant (name of person) to be strengthened with power through your Spirit in (name of person) inner being, so that Christ may dwell in his/her heart through faith–that he/she, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that he/she may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Pray with Persistence

In our culture of instant gratification, we want to see instant results. This is especially true in times of desperation for a loved one. And although, many times we will see instant answers to our prayers many times we will not. God works in his own timing, but because of invisible spiritual battle, are prayers are also hindered by forces that we cannot see (See Daniel 10). For that reason, persistence is key.

Jesus Christ himself taught us in Luke 18 through the parable of the widow and the unjust judge, that persistence yields results. If a widow, who was persistent against an unjust judge was granted what she needed, how much more will we receive as God’s children? So be encouraged. Keep on praying and watch God work in the lives of those you love.

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