Praying with a Stranger in Public

In the dentist’s waiting room, I witnessed a patient being told that all of her bottom teeth would be extracted. She acted surprised and thought today’s visit would only be a consultation. When her caregiver came, she told her what was happening, and clearly, the patient was upset. She was not emotionally prepared for these extractions today.

When I overheard her plight, I had compassion for her. When the caregiver left, I asked the woman if I could pray for her. She said, “Yes, please pray for me.” So I walked over, we exchanged names, she grabbed both my hands, and I prayed for her. She said thank you, then her phone started to ring. I went back to my seat. She told her son about the impending extractions. Then to my amusement, the patient said that God sent an angel to pray for her; her name is Kim.

She further told him that when I had prayed for her, her stiff back eased, and she felt calm again. Then ended the conversation by saying she must be in the right place since God sent an angel to pray with her.

You and I both know I’m no angel. But I believe God orchestrated me to be there and pray for her. What if I hadn’t decided to speak up and offer to pray for her? I could have sat there and quietly prayed to God by myself.

Here’s the difference. When we pray publicly for somebody, we offer our care. We care enough to stop and listen to their deep need or desire. Then as we pray we go with them into the throne room and bring their case before God.

Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace,
that we may receive mercy,
and may find grace to help us in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV

God cares that we pray with someone in need. The person may barely have enough faith to say yes when you offer to pray for them. Or, this woman at the dentist’s office was still in shock and wanted prayer. Another might think, “sure, you can pray; I’ve tried everything else.” So they say yes when you offer to pray. But you have confidence in God because you have a relationship with Him.

Key points to remember when praying with a stranger in public:

  • Pray quietly. You don’t want to make them feel embarrassed or say loudly any personal information.
  • Keep your prayer short. You never know when the prayer will be interrupted.
  • Be ready to help in other ways too. God may have sent you to do more than pray.
  • Read the room. Is praying or talking with a stranger appropriate right now?
  • Be sure of God’s faithfulness. Be confident in your prayer that God can and will answer.

Have Faith in God

Praying for a stranger in public may be outside what you usually would do, but have faith.

God ultimately decides whether to grant your wish and answer what you prayed about, or He may respond in another way like restoring peace to the individual like in my prayer at the dentist office. Either way, God knows what’s best for them. But what was important was that we speak up and speak out as Christians. We use our voice to lead others towards God.

Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might.
Eph 6:10 ESV

Be bold my friends and pray with a stranger. You give the words, He gives the strength.

Get to know me and My Heart’s Cry better:

A story of a man who had a full soda tray spilled on his lap at the drive-thru window. Will I love my “Neighbor”?

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Comment below about when you prayed for a stranger or when a stranger prayed for you. I’d love to hear your story!!! -Kim My Heart’s Cry

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6 thoughts on “Praying with a Stranger in Public

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  1. Great encouragement, Kim! Thanks for the nudge–we can be prayer warriors silently, but whenever possible, we should bless others by praying out loud for them. Love your guidelines, too. You’re right, it’s not always appropriate, depending on the room situation, but like you, I believe God gives us plenty of opportunities to be caring in prayer and bold in our witness for Christ. You followed the leading of the Holy Spirit!!

  2. Kim,
    What a wonderful encounter. Indeed you were used of God at that special moment. And who knows, this woman may have later accepted Jesus as Savior, if she was not a believer. You may have opened the door to eternal life for her. WONDERFUL.

  3. Great testimony. I can understand why the lady said you were an angel. In these times no one offers to pray for strangers. Thank God for your spirit of discernment. Keep up the good work that God calls you to do.

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