Have you ever dreamed of praying for someone and seeing them healed or set free in Jesus’ Name? Have you ever thought it would be great to bring a prophetic message from God to a person that changed their life?
I’m not talking about a Christian meeting or church service;
I’m talking about your everyday life—your family, your workplace, your neighbourhood—wherever you happen to be.
Here are some common reasons why we hold back from praying for people, whether in the context of a Christian environment or in our everyday world. See if you can identify with any of these and take action to overcome them today:
1. I don’t have experience
If we used inexperience as a reason not to step out and pray, no one would ever begin! There came a day when Jesus sent out His disciples to pray for the sick and preach the Gospel for the very first time (Matt 9:35-10:1, Mark 6:7-13, Luke 9:1-6, Luke 10:1-20).
The real issue is not whether or not you have experience, but whether you are willing to begin. Sometimes it is actually our pride that is holding us back. We are concerned at how our inexperience will look to those who are more capable than we are, or to the person we are praying for.
Another thing Jesus did was He sent His disciples out in pairs (Luke 10:1). You don’t have to go it alone! When the lame man by the Temple gates was healed, John was alongside Peter when he gave the word (Acts 3:1-10). There may be someone in your world who God has given to you to partner with and pray and take action together.
Pause right now and ask God to show you what the first step for you to begin is. Ask Him to show you the person or group who can partner with you in being a supernatural Christian.
2. I’m not good enough
No human being on the planet is ‘good enough’ to be used by the Holy Spirit—or ever will be. If you were to make a list of those that you perceive to be the most effective Christian ministers in the earth today, none would make the grade before God. No one is on top of all of their weaknesses and problems. We were not deserving of salvation, but Jesus gave it to us freely as we believed and received Him (Rom 8:31-34). We minister, not because of what we have done, but because of what Jesus has done.
Having said that, it is right to ensure that you are, as best as you are able to be in your current season of life, a ‘clean vessel’ for God to use—walking in excellent moral character, displaying the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and living in unity with others in the church (2 Tim 2:20-22, Gal 5:22-25).
If God is calling you to step out, and you are accountable, teachable, and walking in transparency—not denial—concerning the problems that you do have, then go for it!
When you read the words, ‘not good enough,’ is something coming to mind for you? Pray about this and release it to God. Receive the capacity and worthiness that Jesus has paid the price for on the cross for you.
You might need to find a safe person to process this with who will pray with you and help you move forward. You CAN overcome this.
3. I can’t pray for the sick—I’m sick or weak myself
—or other issues
You are the channel, or ‘vessel’ God uses, the power of God flows through you, but it is not from you. The power is exercised in the Name of Jesus and not your own strength (Acts 3:16).
The Hunk and I were acquainted with a man who had the ministry of a healing evangelist. Many people were healed under his ministry. He saw people cured of deafness through the power of God, however he himself wore a hearing aid. He explained to us that he did not know why he remained unhealed; that was a mystery. However he pointed out that his lack of healing did not disqualify him from praying for others.
Again, the important thing for any weakness that we are struggling with, be it physical or otherwise, is that we remain accountable to leaders in our church and keep doing what we can to become free or whole. In the case of physical weakness or illness, we need to manage our health and be good stewards of our physical bodies. But the presence of unwholeness in ourselves does not disqualify us from praying for a miracle of wholeness in others. In fact, releasing the gift of God in praying for others can build our faith for our own situations.
If being sick or weak in any way has held you back in praying for healing for others, now is the time to take action! Pause and pray for God to release healing to someone in your world who has a need in a similar area. Next time you see them, offer to pray with them.
4. I’m not gifted
(in prayer, healing, prophecy and so on)
It’s true that some people have a stronger gift or higher degree of giftedness than others. But not knowing whether or not you have a gift in a particular area should never hold you back from learning how to pray for people. Neither should it prevent you from ministering when you have an opportunity or the need arises.
Remember, the basis for you being able to pray is not your gift. It is the Name of Jesus Christ. What He has accomplished on the cross, and the authority that He has given to you as His committed follower, is the basis of your prayer ability.
Remember also that you will connect with people in your everyday life that the ministers and gifted people in your church will not, and occasions for prayer will arise when there is no one present but you and the Lord.
And if you are in a leadership role of any description in the church, you will need to be ready to pray for those you are leading, whenever there is a need. You signed up for this!
When Jesus sent out the 12 and the 70 disciples, He didn’t say, “OK, you who are gifted in healing in this group, and those who are gifted in deliverance, you go there”. He sent them ALL out—together. We need to be Kingdom-culture Christians who are open to hearing God’s voice and loving and praying for people wherever we go.
You are never going to be good enough and you may never feel ready. That is why the Christian journey is called a walk of faith.
Become a Can-Do Christian
At the beginning of the school year, my daughter’s Grade 3 teacher asked the children to write a list of the things they believed they could not do. The list included things like physical sports activities such as swimming, subjects such as mathematics, and other things, like talking in front of the class.
When each of the children had written their list, the teacher collected them all up and put them in a box. Then, she took the children outdoors, where they had a ceremony to bury the box. “This class,” she announced, “is going to be a ‘Can-Do Class.’” Not surprisingly, my daughter made more progress in that school year than in any year previously. My challenge to you as you begin to move out is to identify and surrender your list of things you can’t do to God.
Now add some things to the list of things you can do:
- Praying for sick people to be healed in Jesus’ Name
- Sharing a prophetic word, or message from God
- Offering to pray for someone who has a need
- Prophetic evangelism
Remember that it is not about you. It is about Jesus—He gets the fame when He uses weak people to do the job (1 Cor 1:26-29, 2 Cor 4:7), it is about God loving people and extending His Kingdom. Finally, it’s about who you are in Jesus, not who you are apart from Jesus.
Are you interested in Prophetic Evangelism?
For more information, inspiration and stories, learn more in the e-book, ‘How To Be a Supernatural Christian In Your Everyday World’
© Helen Calder Enliven Publishing