1) Pray for someone because you believe they need praying for.
2) Pray for someone to acknowledge that they don't need praying for.
The first kind is very common and it's because our ego first of all shows us that something is wrong with someone. This means we have made the problem seem real. The person could have a serious disease or disability, some financial crisis, just lost a job, is having relationship issues, or whatever. Particularly if this so-called "problem" can be seen visually, we especially believe in it.
But the problem is, just the mere act of believing that someone is ACTUALLY having a problem, that they "really are" sick, that something is happening that's "bad", or something has gone wrong... . just that basic assumption that this is REALITY, or truth, is actually an attack on that person.
This is what ACIM calls false empathy. It means you've actually entered into believing in and are agreeing with what seems to be happening, as though it is true and real. You take this for granted, because you are so incredibly accustomed to perceiving with the ego this way. You have been extremely fooled by appearances and keep buying into them like they are facts. In this world there is temptation and trickery EVERYWHERE.
If someone breaks a leg, you immediately just accept that their leg is broken. If something goes wrong, you immediately accept that it really has gone wrong. If someone becomes sick, you totally believe that the person has become sick. And whatever it is, if it seems to be 'happening', you just assume that it has to be this way.
Then you get stuck in what basically is a belief in SIN, which is the idea that something has really happened already, there's been a real serious consequence, and it cannot be undone. Sin is the idea of irreversability of separation, so as you just idly accept that stuff has gone wrong and nobody can really do anything about it, you're really buying into the illusion and have fallen for its trickery.
So then having made the problem seem real to you, and maybe even you yourself have become upset about it, maybe even afraid about what will happen to the person, you will then feel COMPELLED to try to do something about it. And then you will turn to God and you will pray. And you'll do this because you are making mistakes. It is a mistake to believe that God has not already given you the answer to all problems. It is a mistake to believe that this person has a real problem at all. And it is a mistake to think that you need to get God to do something about this real-seeming problem.
But you'll do it anyway. This is then praying with the ego.
You might say something like... dear God, Holy Father, please send lots of love and light to this person, help them to overcome their fear/sickness/problem, give them strength and courage and help them to not have this problem. Thanks.
Well.... there is some amount of recognition of truth in that, in that you're at least attempting to connect to a higher love and send that love and focus on a possible outcome or state of being which is less problematic, less corrupted. But you're also confused because you're only asking for this because you think the person has a dire problem. And in fact, the worse you believe in the person's problem, the more compelled you will be to think you have to pray extra extra much, because this really big problem calls for you to pull out all the stops and do a really great big prayer. Well.... thanks for attacking the person with everything that's already happening to them, right along with your prayer.
There is another kind of prayer which is a prayer of forgiveness which doesn't seek to DO something to or about the problem, but instead seeks to UNDO your faulty perception about the problem and the person's faulty perception about the problem. This is a prayer that you do WITH Holy Spirit, instead of with the ego. When I did one of these prayers last night, Holy Spirit said to me "it's about time!", lol
So what you need to do, is realize that everything in front of your face, every body that you see, every problem that you think someone has, no matter how much it appears to be true and real, no matter how serious it is... ITS AN ILLUSION. And it is your job in your forgiveness prayer to completely IGNORE that illusion. You should not even be addressing or giving energy to all the reasons why the person has a problem, or making it more real, or reacting to it out of fear or desperation or seriousness.
Instead, you need to be acknowledging, recognizing, remembering and affirming, all the ways in which the person DOES NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM. You don't go saying, well this person has xyz problem, please fix it. You need to instead say, this person DOES NOT HAVE this problem, this person IS NOT SICK, this person DOES NOT have reason to be afraid, this person is HOLY AND INNOCENT, this person HAS NOT SINNED, this person is CHRIST, this person is a picture of TOTAL HEALTH, this person IS NOT REALLY DISEASED, this person CANNOT be guilty, etc.
You need to focus on who the person REALLY IS in Christ, as Christ. You need to affirm and see and clarify the REAL TRUTH about the person, not the fake truths which masquerade as things that you see or sense with your body's senses. And this means, that as you do this prayer/forgiveness, you need to OVERLOOK ALL APPEARANCES, not take them seriously, and make statements which fly in the face of what *seems* to be happening. This is how you cancel out the problem. This is how you make the problem NOT EXIST.
This is where it can be a real challenge, because in the ego we are really really used to seeing the world in such a way that we constantly are making problems real, are believing appearances, totally buying into illusions that victims are really victims and not willing participants, etc. We keep falling for these illusions and each time we do, it PREVENTS us from looking to the real truth.
What you need to learn to do, and this WILL take lots of time, is that no matter how things seem or appear to be, or what seems to be happening, no matter how serious it seems to be, YOU IGNORE THAT, and you FIXATE your vision only on the absolute TRUTH about the person/situation. You hold fast to a single, core truth, aligned with God's will. You affirm what HE has created and its absolute purity and innocence.
You believe strongly in what He has provided and the FACT that He has already created perfection. And therefore, no matter how it seems, and no matter how stubborn the symptoms are, and no matter how many people are telling you to give up, and no matter how much you are telling you to stop trying to kid yourself, you keep on ignoring all appearances and continue to affirm the single one truth. You HOLD YOUR GROUND.
This is one of the vital steps in miracle working. You must believe what is true of God, and not what is true of the ego/illusion/dream, and DO NOT WAVER. If you waver, if you go into fear, if you start buying into how things look, if you go along with appearances, or are fooled by the appearance of failure or "its not working" or "I might as well give up" or "this can't be healed" or whatever... its bullshit. It's ego. You will have to learn to ignore all of that. You have to learn to OVERLOOK/forgive every single appearance of every piece of this entire world. Because it's going to keep trying to convince you that God's will is false and irrelevant. God DOES want permanent healing and he IS READY to provide it right now AND ALREADY HAS.
If you waver from that, especially if the situation seems really serious or even if the person DIES, and if you think well... it looks like we failed and we might as well give up forgiving and stop praying or affirming the truth, then yes, that person will STAY DEAD. But what happens if EVEN in the face of death, you continue to affirm the truth of eternal life? What if you IGNORE appearances and do not take no for an answer and you get really certain and firm that this problem is NOT reality, it is NOT the truth, and the truth is with God? Maybe then with determination and persistence, that person is going to raise from the dead.
So this is how miracles work. Four fairly straightforward steps:
1) Believe in God's truth, and do not be tempted by illusions to waver or fear or doubt or be deceived by how things currently appear.
2) Bring in Holy Spirit and express and extend His Power, his consistency, his absoluteness, such that you are filled with God and are extending only love, not beliefs in attack.
3) Recognize the oneness between you and your brother, He is you, therefore you must recognize you are both One, are both Christ, and all other appearances are illusions that aren't real. Acknowledge only the absolute truth about the person.
4) Command authoritatively and assertively, even aggressively, for the problem to leave right now. Speak directly to it, not about it. Do not ask God about what to do. Do not ask God to do it. God has already set you up with a perfect connection to Him to funnel his power. It's just waiting on you to give the command and extend the authority of His Truth.
You are a miracle worker.