As Christians, we all are part of one church community, where we treat one another as members of a spiritual family—our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Being in a community or spiritual family also means that we love one another. Jesus Himself commanded us to love one another, for it is how the world will know that we are His disciples—by the way we treat one another. Also, in John’s letter cited below, he wrote that if we are indeed born of God, and we have come to know God, Who is love, we are also to love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. That love is an agape kind of love that is selfless and always seeks the well-being of others. Our love for others should not only manifest as mere words but should also be practiced through action. That is why we bless one another out of generosity, encourage one another, are there for each other in tough times, and pray for one another. Praying for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are going through tough times or have important things to pray for is one of the ways we show our love for others in action.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 John 4:7-9
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
How do you ask someone if they need prayer?
If we are wondering whether a fellow brother or sister in Christ needs prayer, what we can do is simply ask them. That is the only definite way for us to know if they need prayers and what the things are that we can pray for them. There are many different scenarios and ways for you to ask your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ what they need.
You can message them and ask them if there is anything you can include in your prayers for them. If you are having a conversation, whether in church or when having fellowship somewhere else, you can ask them if there is anything you can pray for them. You can also ask them what you can pray for them about what you have talked about. For example, if he or she mentioned applying for a job, you can ask the person what they need as far as prayers for their job application. If there is a brother or sister in Christ you haven’t talked to for a while, you can message the person and ask how he or she is doing. You can also set a time to have coffee and catch up. As you ask how the person is doing, you can also ask what things or areas in life he or she needs prayers for. The keyword here is “ask.” You won’t know what they want you to pray for unless you ask, although you can still pray for them on your own with whatever general intercession you want to pray for them. Still, asking the person what you can pray for him or her not only shows that you are praying for them, but also that you care about them. Remember that as Christians we are to love one another as brothers and sisters of Christ, united in one body for which Christ is the head. We ask them how they are doing and pray for them because we seek their well-being. If it turns out that they have problems for which they need us to pray with them, we let them know that we are with them as a church community, taking their burdens with us and praying with them as if it is our burden as well.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
1 Timothy 2:1
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
If you get to have a conversation or catch up and can ask your brother or sister in Christ what you can pray for him or her, you can pray for them right there and then. Here is an example of a prayer that you can pray after learning that a person is having a hard time at work:
God of grace, You are the God Who gives us strength and the graces we need in our everyday lives. I pray for grace upon name of the person that he/she will never give up but continue to persevere and endure at work. Give them the grace to be excellent in the work that they do and give them the skills that they need. Help them cultivate and grow the skills and talents that You gave them. Remind them that in the end, they are working not for men, but for You. May they always glorify You in their work. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Remember that our motivation when asking others what to pray for is love. If anything we do is not out of love, it does not have value. We want to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ out of compassion for them and be with them every step of the way as they go through tough times.