• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Praying For Others

"While we were downtown ... boarding up the ... realty office this afternoon, I saw a sweet couple who walked up to our office, put their hands on it and silently prayed. Then they walked down the street and stopped at each building and prayed....This touched my heart so much ..... so I went over and spoke to them. They said they thought prayer was the best thing they could do for our town during these turbulent times. They went throughout the town stopping and praying for each business. What a blessing it is to have folks like this living among us! I don't know your names, but God bless you!" This was on a friends facebook page and she said I could share it.

After I read it I just thanked God for this couple. They were probably like many of us, not knowing what to do. But they did not just think about it, they did something and they did something big. What better thing to do?! Think of the witness they were to so many passerby's. What can we do? We can pray! In any situation we can pray! Philippians 4: 6, "Do not be anxious about anything,but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

I think what I admired most about this post was they did not just sit at home and pray - while there is nothing wrong with that - they got out and did whatever they could. I can't heal people. I can't always help people. I can't change people. But God can. Our prayers get God's attention. Think about it, God never sleeps. He is always there as soon as we need Him. He does not get irritated with us when we keep talking to Him. It's like He is always just sitting and waiting to hear from me.

One time Jesus heard so many prayer requests that the disciples tried to turn people away. But Jesus would not let them. Matthew 15: 22-23, 28, "A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly. Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, 'Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us'....Then Jesus said to her, 'Woman, you have great faith!Your request is granted.' And her daughter was healed at that moment." Another time we are told that great crowds came to Him and He healed them. He never grew impatient. Matthew 15: 30, "Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them."

Praying for others changes lives. Daniel prayed for others. The nation of Judah had once been people who loved, served and obeyed the Lord. But as a result of Judah's sin, Daniel and his people were removed and taken eight hundred miles away where they were slaves in a foreign land. Daniel made a decision to intercede for his people. His plea to God was for God to be glorified, again, through the lives of the people and their nation. He was praying for restoration of his nation. He was praying for revival. Sound familiar? Daniel 9: 18-19, "Give ear, our God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy.  Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” One important thing to note is that Daniel used plural pronouns when he prayed. I believe that was because he knew he had as much sin in his heart as his people. I never thought about that before when I have read this. Because Daniel interceded for God's people, they were blessed beyond measure. Let's be like Timothy in 1 Timothy 2: 1,3, "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—...This is good, and pleases God our Savior..."

Right now, God's promise to King Solomon is on many church signs - one I pass often. 2 Chronicles 7: 14, "...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." As we pray for our land, let's remember to pray for ourselves, because we also have sin in our heart.