WCUC has a long tradition of praying for one another during Joys and Concerns on Sunday morning. This past Sunday at our Congregational Care Meeting, we tried praying for each other, one on one. Some of us are unfamiliar with this kind of prayer. Here’s a few tips if you want to try:
1. Ask the other person if they’re open to praying with you. Accept a “no” with grace!
2. Ask the person what is troubling them right now; what they are longing for; what they need the most; or simply what they would like to pray about. Don’t assume that you know this already.
3. Sit close to the person you are praying with, holding hands or touching a shoulder if that is comfortable for both of you. If you’re not sure if touch is welcome, ask.
4. Offer a brief prayer. One simple formula is to use an address (name for God), one or two petitions (requests), and a closing. For example: Gracious God, comfort xx as s/he struggles with xx. Help her/him feel your presence and support. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Or: Holy One, strengthen xx and all who surround her/him. Grant her/him relief and fill her/him with your peace. Amen.
Although praying together might feel a little awkward at first, it can be very powerful anyway. The most important thing is not the words that are said, but your loving presence and your intention to dwell in God’s presence with them.
If this kind of prayer is just too uncomfortable for you, you could try praying the Lord’s Prayer together, using another pre-written prayer, or writing a prayer on a card that you give or send to the person you are praying for.
May we be a blessing to one another as we lift one another up in prayer.