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Praying Together 

 

Finding a Prayer Partner

 

 Lesson 7

 

Finding a prayer partner

 

Recommended Reading:  “Power of Praying Together”  Chapter 3 

 

There is good reason to have a prayer partner.  Having a pray partner has two purposes.  One is for Accountability and the other is agreeing together.  This lesson is focused on agreeing together and building relationships that will help you to be able to agree together.

 

A primary scripture we can consider is Matt 18:19 which speaks of agreeing together as we pray.

 

 Agreeing together is really team work.  When a team pulls together, then everyone performs more effectively and often, there are good results.  The same thing happens with prayer.   When we pray together and pull together in our prayers, we see more answered prayer.  It takes discipline to pull together, but as we do, we it will encourage spiritual growth, and as we grow into spiritual maturity, we may discover a change of focus in our prayers.   This new focus allows God’s Holy Spirit to minister through us, showing His love and compassion to others.  

 

As we partner together in prayer with others, we will discover another change—a  spiritual bonding takes place.  It is important as we pray together to allow that bonding, because it enables us to become better acquainted with whom we are praying.  Many people will not open up and share their deeper needs, until a relational bond has developed with their prayer partners.  This spiritual bond can result in a friendship that is Christ centered and becomes a blessing to both prayer partners.   

 

How do I start praying together with a prayer partner?  First, let’s start by just seeking the guidance of the Lord in prayer for the right person to pray with.  It should be someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  The next step clearly defines what you desire in a prayer partner relationship.  Are you looking for someone with a similar prayer focus—i.e. praying about Vacation Bible School or other church function?  Are there community issues that you work on and need prayer?  Are there family or work issues that you want to pray with someone about?  What about someone whom you do things with periodically?  Perhaps this may be an opportunity to consider periodic prayer together, especially—where you have common interests. 

 

As you move forward, please remember that in any relationship, there is a risk (i.e. manipulation, things going awry, etc).  One of the best ways to reduce risks is to allow humility to be a part of your life and action.  Risks are a part of a growing experience, and praying together can help work through some of the risks. 

As you seek a prayer partner, be careful in praying alone with someone of the opposite sex, unless you are married and then your spouse should be that prayer partner.  If prayer with those of the opposite sex is needed, consider praying in a group.    

 

At this point I would like to go back to building relationships.  I know that sometimes you have to build a friendship or a relationship with a person before a person will be ready to pray with you as a prayer partner.  Where are good places to build relationships in searching for a prayer partner?  Consider a starting with good Christian Friend – in most friendship relationships, there is an element of encouragement and support already established.  You may want to take time to study God’s word together first, then consider praying together.  Bible study and prayer groups may also be another place to find a prayer partner.  It is possible that someone in the group would be willing in time to be your prayer partner.  Take your time and get to know those in the group.

 

When we find someone who may be a prayer partner to us, we should be aware there are some approaches that can scare them away and hinder our coming together.  Let’s consider for instance:  If we just “jump in” and start praying with others, it can be frightening to some.  To others it can be very unnerving.  Most of us do not want that.  To help a person overcome his/her fears and issues concerning having a prayer partner, let’s look at some suggestions: 

 

1.  Take time to be a friend. 

2.  Often you may find that you just need to be with others who are praying together for a while, before you feel comfortable in joining them.  Do not rush things.

3.  If you are still afraid to pray with others, even after being with people, don’t be afraid to just say ‘Amen’ at end of a prayer.  This denotes agreement, and is actually a prayer It is good when people understand this is a prayer.   Remember, God looks on the heart—and an ‘Amen’ from the heart is a prayer. 

One more item to consider in relationships:

4.  In time, as you get to know them and have a relationship with some of them, you will probably find yourself joining in prayer with a group.

When you are praying with others, here are a few suggestions:

  • Be specific in prayer requests: Many of us have needs we may want someone to pray for. When possible, it is helpful to be specific about a need.  You can be brief, and not go into much detail. 
  • A word about courtesy:  When praying with others. People, who pray long prayers, and monopolize the time are not giving opportunity to listen to God, nor opportunity for others to join in prayer.  We must all remember to keep our prayers to the “basic specifics” when praying with others, giving others a chance to pray.
  • Listening:  When praying with another, listen to them as they pray.  You will hear what is on their heart.  In your prayers with them, come along side and joining with their prayer.  It will bring encouragement that will show them that God is interested in them.  That action (Joining with their prayer) is God’s love at work.  Conversely, when we do not join with another in prayer, that action can be interpreted as being insensitive which can block the work God wants to do.  Learning to listen to others and to God, takes time, but it will bring fruit for eternity – and may help remove the fears of praying with and for others.

 

When we pray with others, take time to listen to others, and obey what God’s word says, we have the opportunity to let the Holy Spirit guide us as we pray, it is good to ask the Lord to help you encourage your prayer partner. Heb 3:13.

 

There are many benefits of having a prayer partner.  Our first step is to ask the Lord and to lead us to one.  Remember you may find it takes time to become better acquainted with a person to build a trusting relationship with him or her, who might be your prayer partner.  In time, you will find the person whom God wants you to pray with regularly.

 

There is a lot to consider in building a relationship that can lead to finding a prayer partner.  Take time to consider what has been taught in this lesson and work some of the reflection questions with this lesson.

 

Reflection Questions: 

 

We know we should pray, but when it comes to praying with others, why is building a relationship with them important? 

 

In any relationship there are risks.  If you have had experience with prayer partners, would you be willing to share some of the risks you experienced first hand? (Be general here, we don’t need deep details).

 

If your prayer partner is not into much actual praying, but is often silent and says just 'Amen'-- can that be enough to encourage you as you pray with them? 

 

Have past issues of confidentiality discouraged you from praying with a prayer partner?  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views: 253

Replies to This Discussion

I would like to share that I wish in the past that I had  instruction like what we have presented in this course.  I had one prayer partner where we just jumped in.  I am a strong prayer, and the prayer relationship with another prayer partner did not last.  I do not know if it was me or something else that stopped it.  My wife also had a case where another person jumped into praying with her fast.  That prayer relationship with her did not last, and there may have been issues of confidentiality that affected the relationship.  Over time, through much study and reading, I learned that we need to build on a foundation--a relationship with God first, then a relationship with others second, then a personal friend relationship with our prayer partner.  That personal friend relationship did not exist in the comment about my past prayer partner above.  Yes -- we had worked together on a evangelistic project, but the friendship did not have roots.  My wife's prayer partner relationship was not built on a friendship before starting.  From experience, I can say that friendship with our prayer partners would have made a significant difference for both of us.  Food for thought.

Oh, I am hesitant to write this and simply want to do what the author suggests and simply say "Amen." I have wanted to withdraw into a shell with my God and me. I fully agree with the need for a relationship, not only with our God, but also a deep relationship and understanding of our prayer partner. SO here goes.

I am 77 years old from a very conservative religious heritage. Had stroke 11 years ago which in many ways has turned out to be a blessing. I am disabled (90% at least). The only way I could have a prayer partner is online via e-mail. How would it work (my vision)? We would exchange one or more prayers one day each week. We could respond if we considered it appropriate. I know this would increase my awareness of needs to take to our God.

YES, we would have to become good friends first and gravitate to exchanging prayers. OH, I am not interested in romance for I have been happily married for 58 years!

IS THERE ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE SUCH A PRAYING RELATIONSHIP? We could always place a time limit on our efforts initially and review it afterwards to see where we want to go. TY for considering my proposal.

Grover certainly has a point.  I put this out to the class and ask that all of you prayerfully consider lifting the need of a prayer partner and one who also can be a friend for Grover.  If we pray together about this, we may just see the Lord honor our requests and answer a longtime prayer for Grover. May the Lord bless you as you pray for Grover.  Remember that others may take the challenge and all of you will be praying in agreement fro Grover-God honors that.  I will be joining with those who pray.

 

Blessings.

I think that God has always valued friendship. In Genesis, God and Adam and Eve had a close relationship. They met together daily. After the fall, then their relationship became different. God still communicated with them. Later He sent Prophets. Constant animal sacrifice was needed for forgiveness, and for relationship. More and more God put people together so that they would develop relationship with like belief and living standards. The Jewish people were set apart for the purpose of God in making an example to the Gentiles who God is and His plan for life. But because of mankind constantly breaking their relationship with God. God lovingly sent Jesus. Jesus changed the way people could have a relationship with God. He became the once and forever sacrifice for all mankind. He partnered up with disciples that followed Him, and He formed a close relationship with 12 Apostles and became their friends as well as taught them all that they would need to carry on His ministry. He went to their homes, He ate with them, met with them among a multitude as well as alone, He taught them and He prayed with them. The multitude was able to experience Jesus kindness, and shared some of what the 12 did, but to the twelve He opened scripture, and His teaching so that they would know how to carry on His mission in His absence. He did not do it alone, but He could have as He was able. He showed us the importance of friendship, and fellowship. His most intimate prayers, and conversations were with the twelve. This says to me that it is extremely important to know those to partner with in prayer for the importance of Jesus pure sacred mission of salvation should be take great and careful care that we partition with those like minded for the carrying out of God's plan for life, and His grace given to mankind that they may obtain it.

Francis, 

 

Christ did show others that they were important to Him. This is wonderful insight.- a point that will draw us closer to the Lord.

 

thank you for sharing it.

Lewis, I really like your point about listening to others as they pray.  I believe this is the only way that we can be said to be praying in agreement according to Matthew 18:19-20.  If I come to prayer concerned only for my own agenda, I'm not agreeing with others as they pray.  And, likely, they won't be agreeing with me either!!

I also second the motion for brief prayers.  I've prayed with others who feel a need to cover every aspect of a person's request in prayer and leave nothing for the rest of the group but to blandly repeat what's already been said.  I've also prayed with groups where each person lifts up to God one specific aspect of a person's prayer request, briefly, and then another picks up with a different aspect, etc.  The community and prayer fellowship that develops when a group prays together like that!!  Each person contributes something different, and each person honors the contributions of others by not trying to "cover it all" himself.

One other point you made really rings true for me.  You talked about allowing time to listen to God.  I think that often when we're praying with others, we get uncomfortable with silence.  But it's in silence that we can hear the Holy Spirit whisper to us and lead us in prayer.  Although it's not particularly natural, I think it's really important for groups and prayer partners to intentionally develop the discipline of silence as part of their prayer time.

In answer to the reflection question that asks if we had a prayer partner that was silent and just said amen, would that be enough to keep you encouraged.  I don't think too many of us would be very encouraged if we had a prayer partner that never prayed.  It would get old, I think, if I was the one praying all the time & they didn't.  That happens at church sometimes when the pastor will say to find someone & pray together.  I'll go to someone & pray for them but they don't pray for me.  I have a friend that whenever we go out I am the one who always has to say grace.  She won't pray out loud.  It gets discouraging sometimes.  If you have agreed with someone to be prayer partners I think we both should pray and it not be just one doing all the praying.
Susan, I definitely see what you're saying.  I think that the process of finding/choosing a prayer partner by definition has to include setting expectations for how you will pray together.  Both people need to have a commitment to that in order for the relationship to work.  I think it would get discouraging if one person is "carrying the weight" of the prayer relationship over a long period of time.  The nature of "partnership" implies a certain equality in participation.  I'm not saying it has to be 50-50 every time, but I would think that over time both people would end up participating as equals.  Again, though, I think it would be important to establish the expectation at the beginning.

Susan,  thank you for speaking up honestly.  What you shared-- can actually happen,  and we may be tempted to say ‘that is not following the training I have received.’  The truth is, what you described can happen and your reaction to it is a valid statement.    I also agree with and appreciate what Andrew shared about being upfront at first, as to what expectations we want to see, helps.

Thanks again for sharing this concern.  It has challenged me to sift through that issue for myself.  I too have experienced other similar issues that parallel what you shared.

Perhaps a question to ask--If people do not seem connected--are elements of relationship missing?  This may be one reason people do not pray together.  Something to think about--  some good thoughts in the podcast for this lesson.

Lesson 7--When compiling the podcast of this this lesson together, it brought back to mind how important it is to build relationships with others whom we pray with.  I remember once seeking a prayer partner, and a person agreed to pray with me.  That prayer relationship did not last very long.  We had not really developed a true friendship relationship with each other before praying with each other.  Today, the Lord has provided a group of men to pray with, and that friendship relationship is developing with those in that group.  I am thankful to Common Thread Ministries and a friend who invited me to join, for that prayer opportunity.  Notice I said a friend invited-that means a relationship already existed.  Perhaps these short thoughts on relationship and praying together may help someone who has had similar struggles.

Jesus knew and still knows heart of men-John 2:24. He used his omnipotence when he called his twelve disciples. He taught them how to pray. It is by the voice of God that commanded me to pray. I started prayers. He usually sends me to places in order to pray with people. He sent me to start  a prayer ministry in a certain church and he had made it specific that " I wil bring intercesssors to you" More than 50 came and God has established freindship and relationships only among 14 remaing over 4 years and I think that more will leave. In prayer partnerships God/Holy Spirit Unity must be the foundation. Let everybody answer " I am calleb by God to come .." Phil.. 1:6

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