Have you ever been in a situation where a brother or sister in Christ asks you to pray with them, they pour their heart out to you, and you just stand there at a loss? You want more than anything to be there for them in that moment, but you just, in all honesty, don’t know what to say.
I’ve got some advice. Whether it be your own private prayer, prayer with a friend, or prayer in a group, this may be the best advice I can give you regarding prayer at anytime: lead them to the tower. Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” This means that God’s name is the refuge for His children when they’re in need. And prayer is, at it’s heart, a proclamation of our neediness.
In Exodus, when Moses asked God to show him His glory, God passed by and proclaimed his name to Moses as:
“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty…” (Exodus 34:6-7)
This is God’s name. It’s His character. It’s who He is. Don’t know what to pray? Take them to the tower; show them God’s name. As one of my Pastors often says, “Plagiarize your Bible.” Open its pages and dwell on God, his mercy and grace. Speak out of His covenant keeping faithfulness, His justice, His love, patience, and forgiveness. Remember His mighty acts. Recall how He flung all the stars in the sky with a word of his power and how He parted the Red Sea so that Israel could walk through on dry land. Pray in wonder of how He took dead men and women, made them alive together with Christ, and seated them in heavenly places. Think about His worth, and lift Him up in praise and thanksgiving.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
(Helen H. Lemmel, 1922)
So if you’re asked to pray and you’re at a loss, simply, but beautifully, dwell on God’s character. Lift your gaze above this life and look into our heavenly dwelling. Don’t walk, but run them to the tower. It’s probably the thing their heart needed the most anyway.