This doesn't come very naturally to me at all. How do I know which verbs should be followed by "à" and thus use lui in these affirmative commands?
I always used to tell my students that the two little words à and de were very important words in the French language language and you have found out why.
Prepositions are difficult to master so what I would advise is that you learn each verb with its preposition when applicable such as -
demander à quelqu'un de faire quelque chose = to ask someone to do something
Je lui demande de faire la vaisselle = I ask him to do the dishes
téléphoner à quelqu'un = to call someone
appeler quelqu'un = to call someone
Je lui téléphone tout de suite = I am calling him right away
Je l'appelle tout de suite = I am calling him right away
Other users' advice is very welcome but I hope this is useful.
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