Praying with Coaching Skills

Praying for people often involves a few reminders, “Lord, help her to know how much you love and care for her,” a fair amount of encouragement, “Jesus, help him to see that he’s doing his best,” and a sprinkling of advice, “God, I pray she could be bold and talk to her boss, relying on your confidence, to make her case directly.”

At a missions conference last week, I joined with others praying with coaching skills. What I heard included listening, asking, waiting, responding, and partnering – both with the Holy Spirit and the person we prayed for. It went something like this:

“Lord, Trey is looking for your direction. Would you give him eyes to see and ears to hear what you would have him do next in his ministry?” We paused for a moment.

“Trey, when you think about your direction, what’s the question you’re asking?”

Trey answered, “I have several options but I’m too busy running the things that are going on now.”

We prayed, “Holy Spirit, what do you have to say to Trey, about his situation, these options, how he’s running the ministry now?” And we waited again.

“Trey, what are you hearing?”

Trey responded, “I’m feeling obligated to continue what’s going on even though it’s not working. And I’m wondering if things will change.”

“What would you like to ask of God?”

Trey prayed, “God, give me the courage to act and the words to talk with people about these changes. I know I’ll disappoint some people, but I trust in the direction you’ve been leading me in.”

“Trey, we bless you with courage to act. Sensitivity as you explain how you sense God leading. And confidence as you press forward. Amen.”

Rather than a “prayer monologue”, this prayer time felt interactive. It was an engaged partnership of Trey, the Holy Spirit, and us, asking, listening, and responding. 

Coaching skills can be integrated into any role or relationship to bring added clarity and insight as we communicate. 

    Keith is President of Creative Results Management. He helps busy leaders multiply their impact. Keith is the author of several books including The COACH Model for Christian Leaders.

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