This week a friend texted and asked me to pray for her for an upcoming appointment. For some reason, it really stayed with me all day that it is an honor to pray for a friend. What an honor that a friend would trust you with something so big. I texted her that it was an honor to know she would ask me. And she replied that it was an honor to have someone to go through difficulties with and you know they will pray. My response? I guess that is why it is called prayer PARTNERS! I am so thankful for those God has put in my life that I call my prayer warriors! Prayer is the best gift anyone can give to another.
The Bible shows us throughout Scripture that praying for others is a pattern. Moses prayed that God would be merciful to his people. Deuteronomy 9: 26, "I prayed to the Lord and said, 'Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand.'" Daniel prayed that God's people would be freed from exile. Jesus prayed throughout His ministry. Apostle Paul begins his letter to the Philippians by assuring them that he is praying for them. Philippians 1: 3-6, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." We are also told in Ephesians 6: 18 to pray in the Spirit on all occasions. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
The Bible encourages us to pray about everything. It will take our anxieties away! Philippians 4: 6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." It is ok for us to pray for health and good things. 3 John 1: 2, "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." But I think we are shown that the most important is our soul. When Jesus prayed for others, He prayed for their faith. Luke 22: 32, "But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." He prayed for them to become holy. John 17: 17, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." He prayed against temptation. Luke 22: 40, "On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation."
Paul prayed for the salvation of others. Romans 10: 1, "Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved." He prayed for them to stay on the right path. 2 Corinthians 13: 7, "Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed." He prayed others would be filled with the fullness of God. Ephesians 3: 14-19, "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." When we are praying for others, it gets our focus off of ourselves.
We are told in 1 Timothy 2: 1-5 to pray for others. "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." And we are to pray not just for our family and friends but others including our leaders, our bosses, our church leaders, our coworkers. We are to pray for those of have hurt us. Matthew 5: 44, "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Jesus interceded for His enemies while He was hanging on the cross. Luke 23: 34, "Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” I love the quote, "the
quickest way to douse the fire of anger is with a bucket of prayer."
And when we pray we must remember the power we have in the name of "Jesus". Jesus told us to pray in His name. John 14: 13-14, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." Above all else prayer is a powerful for us to get to know our Lord and Savior. Praying for others will bring us closer to God because we are acknowledging His will. 1 John 5: 14, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us." When we pray for others we feel closer to them. And if we pray for those who have hurt us we will begin to let go of our anger against them.
Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?" - Corrie ten Boom