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This might sound like an obvious point, but it’s always worth checking that the person you’re about to pray for is comfortable and happy about what’s going to happen
If you’re praying online, this might mean checking that the person can hear you praying for them, and that your internet connection is stable!
In real life contexts, try to choose somewhere relatively quiet, where you won’t be interrupted and where there aren’t too many other people around as this could be distracting or unnecessarily uncomfortable for the person you’re praying for.
It’s always advisable to pray with more than one person (and practically this means that one of you can pray out loud whilst the other listens to God for the person you’re praying for).
In some circumstances you might choose for a wider group to pray for one individual all at the same time. Always check that the individual is happy being prayed for in this way before you start.
The concept of laying hands is widely practised in the Bible and in the book of Acts we see Peter and John modelling it. However, always check the person is happy as some people might prefer some personal space or not wish to be touched.
If you are praying for someone you don’t already know, make sure you introduce yourself and ask for their name.
If someone is asking you for prayer, it often means they have something specific that they would like you to pray for. Remember to pray in a way that is encouraging and loving.
Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as you pray, as there could be something encouraging that you might hear from God. (Check out our page on listening if you need more practical tips)
It’s always more reassuring to pray out loud for someone who’s being prayed for as it means they know exactly what you’re praying for them, and they can also be encouraged as you do it. We also recommend not praying in tongues (unless you know the person is comfortable with this way of praying) as it can be disconcerting for someone less familiar with this practice.
Say “Amen” at the end of a prayer time so that it’s clear that it’s the end.
How to incorporate prayer for others into your regular time of prayer