Use Scripture to guide your prayers for the specific needs of your friends.
For example, for someone struggling with emotional pain, you can pray like this:
You are the God of all comfort! Comfort my friend in her affliction, so she can comfort others (from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
I arrived home from school tired and discouraged. I thought of others’ sufferings. I prayed, out loud, “Lord, why is life so hard?
I walked past my computer and noticed my niece* had emailed a Bible verse: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).”
That verse was God’s direct answer to my prayer: When life is hard God comforts me so I learn how to comfort others.
*Bethany regularly emails verses. Her quiet reminders of truth are a continual blessing to me.
As we walked, she talked. “I had no idea how many women suffer the unseen, silent sorrow of miscarriage.”
Then she spontaneously prayed, “Lord, comfort the other mothers who lost unborn babies like you comfort me.”
Suffering helps us pray for others.
(She’s also asking the Lord to give her another baby.)
I kneeled, grieving. For my daughter and her husband. For the loss of their unborn Baby.
I searched God’s Word for comfort and read, “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).”
I wondered, “Heavenly Father, who comforted You as they beat and scorned and killed Your Son? Were You alone?”
I realized God comforts well because He understands.