Why would we pray for others? What is happening in this prayer? If praying for others is not about trying to remind an aloof God to care, or to convince an unpredictable God to act, then what is praying for others about? Furthermore, how are we supposed pray for others and what does this achieve? Rev Dr Sally Douglas explores...

Watch TV or film and you could be given the impression that prayer is about bargaining with some unpredictable God, reciting a ‘shopping list of doom’ that lists all the things wrong in the world, or that prayer is about positive thinking, in which it is only permissible to praise God while denying suffering. Authentic prayer is not about these things....