The Role of a Helper in Prayer
Leading Others in a Conversation with God
When we’re hurt or carrying burdens from our past with us, this affects our relationship with God. Often we’re not aware of how these things are linked together – we only sense that we’re sometimes stuck, that our thoughts are often negative, or that we fall again and again into the same sin. To get to the root of our problem, it is very helpful to have support from someone with the right experience and a clear “outside” perspective. They can lead us so that we ask God the right questions and take the necessary steps to becoming free.
When we ourselves have cleansed our lives and experienced freedom with the help of someone else, a next step is to learn how to lead others in a conversation with God so that we too can help others become free!
God wants to heal and deliver people. As a helper, it is our responsibility to lead the other person into an encounter with God so that this becomes possible. The Holy Spirit has the main role – we partner with Him by following His lead. That means we listen to the Holy Spirit and assist the other person to communicate as well as possible with Him. We do this by suggesting questions they could ask God. Also we support them in the following two areas:
- sensing what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to them
- guiding them in taking the steps shown by the Holy Spirit.
The relationship with God is key
|You (helper)||Other person|
The main aim of every prayer time is to strengthen the relationship between the other person and God. That’s why it’s shown as the strongest in the diagram. We always trust that God wants to speak with them and assume that they can hear God’s voice. Together with Him we lead them in identifying obstacles and removing them.
For this it is necessary that our own relationship with God is right and that we, as a helper, are constantly in touch with God throughout the prayer time. In this way, we can work together with God as closely as possible and lead the other person into freedom.
It is important in our relationship with the person we are helping that they trust us and let us lead them. But this relationship shouldn’t be our main focus within a prayer time. This means that in our prayer time together, we talk less with each other. Rather we let them talk with God about the issues and let them ask the right questions to God. He knows the roots and is the one who heals and gives freedom.
Am I ready for the role of a helper?
The more that you’re still bound yourself, the less you can lead others into freedom. The following are necessary to take this responsibility:
- Born again, experienced inner healing and your lifestyle shows that you’re continuing in becoming more like Jesus
- Humility to listen to people patiently and lovingly accept them as they are
- Trustworthy and confidential
Examine yourself according to these three criteria and talk with God: How ready are you for this role?
Talk with your mentor / trainer and with an experienced helper: Ask them for their opinion and whether they see you as ready to learn the role of the helper!
Principles for a prayer time
- Depend on God
- We can’t produce any change in the other person out of our own strength. Therefore we always aim to find out what the Holy Spirit wants to do. Expect God to do something!
- No advice
- During a prayer time, don’t give advice but let them ask God the right questions to get His guidance. It is not your wisdom that they need, but to get connected with God so that they can find out what He says.
- Give hope
- We want people to be in a better place after they met with us than before.
- We don’t share anything that happened. If it is necessary for your learning or assistance, you may discuss anonymously with your mentor / trainer. It would be best if you ask permission for this.
Honoring the other person
The other person is precious and valuable in God’s eyes. That’s how we want to deal with them!
- We never force the other person to do anything, and we never rush or push them. If they are not ready or don’t want to go forward, we won’t do it.
- Encourage the other person and never judge. Create a relaxed atmosphere so that they can be totally honest with God and won’t feel badly (e.g. if they don’t hear anything, or if they bring up a sin).
- They have their own feelings and perspective on the situation, and that is what God wants to address and heal. Don’t bring in your opinion, or question their logic.
- We use the language they use. When God reveals a truth to them, repeat it exactly as they say it and don’t rephrase it.
The way to become a good helper
As in all things, Jesus is our model. He trained His disciples by first doing something Himself and by letting them observe. Then He let them try while He was standing near. Later, He was no longer at their side, but evaluated with them afterwards. Finally, He sent them out to do it themselves.
The first step is always to have a prayer time for yourself where you let someone else guide you. Then look for an experienced helper who can train you. A good next step is to observe several prayer times as a trainee. After that you can take on the role of a co-leader, and finally you’ll be able to lead a prayer time. You can ask your trainer to be co-leader so that they can give you feedback.
My next steps
Ask God: Which issues do I still have in the area of inner healing?
Leading people into freedom and healing is based on several basic principles and processes. They are broken down into pieces and explained in the worksheets: “Forgiving Step by Step”, “Confessing Sins and Repenting”, “Overcoming Fear and Anger” etc. It is important to learn each piece until you are comfortable with it, and then you can practice linking them together. How experienced are you with these individual principles in your own life and with others?
Read through the paragraphs “Principles for a prayer time” and “Honoring the other person”.
Which of the points are especially challenging for you? Ask your trainer for his perspective and talk together: How can you grow in these areas?
Sit down with your trainer and develop a training plan for yourself!