Want to give a really meaningful gift to someone this Christmas? Pray for them. You don’t have to tell them you are doing it, and you don’t have to forgo giving them a material gift if you really want to do that. Begin to think of intercessory prayer (praying for others) as part of your collection of spiritual gifts to impart to the world.
This particular form of intercessory prayer is adapted from Marjorie Thompson’s best seller Soul Feast. It’s particularly well suited for those of us who are not sure exactly how to pray for others.
- Begin seated comfortably in a chair. Take at least five deep, slow breaths. Allow your thoughts to slowly descend deep into the center of your being. Say to yourself, “Here I am in the presence of God’s everlasting care and love.”
- Using words, either spoken or unspoken, state who and what you are praying for. Let your prayer be uncensored. Just lay your heart’s desire out before God.
- Then become silent. Allow a visual image of God surrounding the person to emerge in your imagination. It could be a bright light, it could be Jesus holding them in his arms, or any image that presents itself to you. In your mind’s eye, see the person becoming whole and reconciled in the situation. Feel the grace of God transforming the person or situation.
- Using words, spoken or silent, ask God to work out God’s desire and purpose for the person or situation. Release the person or situation into the fullness of God’s care. Leave the outcome in God’s hands.
- Repeat this prayer for as many people as you wish to pray for.