Q: Sometimes my friends ask me in a casual way to pray for them, and I'm not always sure what to say—I'm not sure about the difference between Christian Science treatment and prayer.
A: How wonderful that your friends feel your love and interest in them enough to come to you and ask you to pray! It isn't uncommon to have someone make this request of a friend whom they know includes prayer as a daily part of life. And Christian Scientists are beautifully equipped to pray in this way.
The motivation for all prayer must be love—love for God and love for our fellow man. The sort of prayer you're referring to tenderly expresses the love for a friend or a family member that holds them in thought in the way that God knows them, but does not address their thinking or intrude on their beliefs—whatever they may be. This prayer is a sweet realization of God's love for Her creation and a gentle recognition of the great care that She provides to each one of Her children. The Lord's Prayer is a good example of this kind of prayer (see Matt. 6:9–13 and Science and Health, pp. 16–17).