In offering a prayer of encouragement to one in need, here are a few simple things to know to make the experience best for those involved. Make sure you are clean before the Lord prior to coming to His throne of grace. Pastor Adrian Rogers would say, make sure you are “fessed up, cleaned up, and dressed up.”
Confess any sin so that nothing stands between you and the Lord; 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Cleaned up means to be a person of the Book! Know God’s Word and allow it to penetrate your heart and mind so that your prayers are intertwined with His Word; “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9).
Dressed up means that you live a righteous life before the Lord and others around you. Job 29:14 says, “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban.” Once we are in right standing with the Lord, our prayers are led by the Holy Spirit and not just by our own desires, even though those desires might be good. Then listen well and put yourself in another’s shoes if you can. Allow that person’s need to pierce your heart. Then silently ask the Lord to pray through you. When you have finished praying, let the person know you plan to continue praying until the Lord meets the need. Pray for the person regularly, and after a time, follow up to see how things are going. Following up and asking questions shows you have taken the need seriously and listened carefully. This kind of praying for others displays the love of Jesus and may inspire someone to one day do the same for someone else. If the person you are praying for is not yet saved and you follow through, you create an opportunity to share the Gospel and possibly see the person come to know Christ as Savior.
In closing, when you pray for people, be specific regarding their needs, express that God is with them to comfort them, guide them, and see them through the situation, and speak of your and God’s love for them personally. 2 Chronicles 6:40 says, “Now, my God, I pray, let Your eyes be open and let Your ears be attentive to the prayer made in this place.”