Life is filled with difficulties and challenges, and at one time or another we all find ourselves in some particularly desperate situation. These desperate situations cause us to turn to God for help, but that’s often when we feel that our own prayers are inadequate. Sometimes that’s because we’re out of practice, sometimes it’s because we think we don’t have as much faith as we need, sometimes it’s because we feel undeserving of God’s help, and sometimes we fear that even our most heartfelt prayers will fall short. It’s at times like that when we most appreciate the love, concern, and prayers of others.

And it works both ways. Being there for others in their times of need and putting our love and concern into action by praying for them are two of the truest and most effective ways we can live the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

But praying for others is not only the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing. Worrying about the situation will get us nowhere. Taking matters into our own hands won’t get us much further. But taking the situation to God in prayer will ensure the best possible results, for “this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”1

Nothing else we can do for another costs so little or goes so far as prayer. Of course, when we pray, God may show us that there is something more we can do to help resolve the situation, but our first response to any problem should be to pray. Let’s remember that the next time a loved one or neighbor needs our prayers—and, as Jesus taught, our neighbor is anyone who needs our help.

A prayer to give your heart to God

Dear Jesus, thank You for dying for me so that all my wrongs can be forgiven. I now open the door to my heart and ask You to please come into my life, forgive me for my sins, fill me with the Holy Spirit, and give me Your free gift of eternal life. Amen.

  1. 1 John 5:14 NIV