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How to Pray for a Friend

Woman sitting crying and holding tissue

This weekend changed my prayer life.

Have you ever been at a loss for how to pray for someone you love?

How to intercede in prayer isn’t complex when the need is tangible (lack of money, resources, healing, protection). We pray they get what they need or for God to still yet provide if the request is not his will.  

But when the need provokes in the one you care about a tug-of-war between spiritual and emotional, discerning how and what to pray can be gut-wrenching.

This was the struggle I faced.

Shortly after my friend abruptly revealed their turmoil, we had to part company. Hours later, his sorrow confronted me while sitting in a waiting room full of strangers. But it did not matter. This pain was going to provoke me regardless of my environment, so my thoughts became my prayers:

Lord, I do not know what you want me to do with this, but I know you want me to do something, so I’m praying.

(I could feel the first tear coming.)

My friend is empty. My consolation is not enough. This is Jesus work. What can I do?

(I’m so glad God counts every tear. I needed for these silent tears to count.)

I am at a loss. Help me get this right. Not for me, but for them. Tell me, Lord, what should I pray?

If you have ever been convicted to step in the gap for someone you care about but not knowing how to help, then you understand. If you have yet to experience it keep walking with Jesus and you will.

The servant of the man of God got up early and went out, and behold, there was an army with horses and chariots encircling the city. Elisha’s servant said to him, “Oh no, my master! What are we to do?” Elisha answered, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  Then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.” 2 Kings 6:15-17, Amplified Bible

It wasn’t until the next day in my Bishop’s sermon that I got my answer.

“Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.”

It was Heaven’s job, not mine, to address my friend’s anxiety. He needed a hope I could not provide, to see his circumstances beyond eyesight but with the insight of the Spirit.

He needed to see for himself that those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

Only God can do that.

And the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha. ~2 Kings 16:17b AMP

This became my prayer that day and every day since.

I am doing my part, so I know God will do his.

Sometimes, we just need to know our role.


God does not need our help, but he loves a good introduction.

My friend did not need me to be a savior. He already has one, one that knows exactly how and when to fill up those empty spaces in his heart.

“Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.”

It’s just nine words, but they pack a punch.

Let this sweet, simple prayer become yours for the ones you love.

See you next week.

Phil as signature for Phillipa Williams


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Be courageous.

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About Phillipa



Phillipa Williams has dedicated her life to building God’s kingdom. A former programs director for new member and Christian education with over 36 years’ experience in leadership and discipleship, she has equipped thousands to serve God and community.

She is the Founder/CEO of GOD n Me International, a faith-based social enterprise equipping and inspiring others for spiritual intimacy, transparency, and destiny. Her blog,, was named one of the "Top 10 Black Christian Blogs, Websites, Newsletters To Follow in 2019“ by In Spring 2022, Phillipa published her first book, GOD 'n You: Finding Your Place in Forever. She also completed the licensing and ministerial requirements at the Potter's House School of Ministry in Dallas, Texas.

An advocate for women and children, Phillipa founded and serves as Executive Director of the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, ilooklikeLOVE, Inc.. ilooklikeLOVE works to eradicate early childhood poverty through diaper assistance and capacity building for new mothers.


She is the proud parent on one adult son, Kenneth.

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