This morning, the Lord placed an urgency in my spirit to write on this very topic. Praying for others has never been more needful than it is today.
I honestly think that the act of praying for one another is underestimated in the Christian community. There is nothing normal about it, when a Christian prays for themselves always but doesn't pray for other people.
James 5:16 KJVConfess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Unfortunately, not praying for others happens to become a norm among many Believers. It has become a habit that many have come to accept it as normalcy.
I once came across a Facebook post that read something like... "Always remember to pray for yourself, because the prayers of others may only end at them telling you 'I'm praying for you'"
Funny enough and sadly, that happens to be true. In today's Christianity, people will tell you, "I got you covered; I'm praying for you; I will pray for you", and that's where it all ends! But is this the way it is suppose to be? The answer is definitely no! I'm very sure even our Lord Jesus Christ is not pleased with this attitude.
Before we proceed, let's do a little self-introspection; let's ask ourselves a couple of questions:
- Do I pray for others?
- How often do I offer prayers for others?
- When last did I pray for other people?
I understand that life can be tough attimes. Diverse life situations can catch up with us and get us caught up with self. But we must understand that at this present time in eternity, everyone is going through one challenge or the other.
Life on earth is not perfect and it happens to get more challenging everyday. Christians are going through a lot. Every genuine Christian is going through one trial or another. It isn't just one Christians who is experiencing spiritual attacks and going through difficulties.
As Christians, we have to imbibe the habit of overlooking what we are passing through sometimes (and all the prayers we need) and then, pray for someone else! There's a secret behind praying for others, have you accessed it yet?
Christians are one of the groups of people who preach love the most. But talk is cheap, love is better practised than talked about. How can we say we have love when all we do is praying for just ourselves day in, day out? Sometimes we don't even know when we begin to sound selfish to God.
The world is hurting. We need to start getting used to putting aside the tons of prayer points we have for ourselves and bringing the requests of other people before God. There is a surprise for each and everyone of us who will obey and begin to do this.
See Also: Benefits of Persistent Prayer
Why Should We Pray For Others?
There are too many reasons why we should pray for others. God commands and expects us to pray for others. It is something that should become a part and parcel of our Christian living.
Jesus Christ is our perfect example when it comes to the way we should live as His Believers. While He walked the earth, He always prayed and He did pray for His disciples (and others we have no knowledge of). Even When He drew close to the end of His ministry on earth, He took out time to pray for the Church (John 17:20-23). He also taught the disciples to do the same:
Luke 22:32 NIV“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
How can we strengthen others if we don't pray for them? Encouraging and saying motivational words to them is not enough. We should emulate our Lord Jesus Christ in all that He did.
Praying for others is not an option, it is a command that we all should embrace and obey as Christians. Below are some specific reasons why we should pray for others as given in scriptures:
1. To Bear One Another's Burdens
Galatians 6:2 KJVBear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
We cannot bear one another's burdens just by listening to them, pitying them or sympathising with them. One of the best ways to bear each other's burdens is by praying for one another.
2. Look Also To The Things Of Others
Philippians 2:4 KJVLook not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
The Lord does not expect us to be selfish and self-centered. Life isn't all about us. We are commanded to care about others also. Other people matter also, pray for them!
Sometimes people may not be able to share with you what they are passing through, you should ask the Holy Spirit to lead you on how to go about praying for them.
3. Prayers Should Be Offered For All Saints
Ephesians 6:18 NIVAnd 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.
All Christians are going through one form of challenge or another. It is our responsibility to pray for the Body of Christ on earth. Pray the Lord strengthens them in the midst of all the trials and tribulations they are facing. Pray that none of them falls away into damnation.
4. Pray For The Furtherance Of The Gospel
2 Thessalonians 3:1 KJVFinally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.
It might interest you to know that there are still many people who haven't heard the true Gospel. Some are living the lies taught by false preachers. Pray that the Gospel of Christ reaches to the uttermost parts of the earth.
Colossians 4:3-4 KJVWithal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:  That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
5. Pray For Those In Authority
1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJVI exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;  For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Pray that God strengthens and protects them. Pray God transforms them and enables them lead better. Pray for the ungodly ones to repent and find God.
Scripture About Praying For Others
What does that Bible say about praying for others? There are tons of scriptures about praying for others. I will highlight just a few more relevant ones. Feel free to go ahead and search for others.
- Romans 10:1 KJV Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
- Colossians 1:9 KJV For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
- James 5:16 KJV Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- Matthew 5:44 KJV But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
How To Pray For Others
Below is a brief guide on how to go about praying for others.
1. Pray For Others Salvation
Despite the fact that the Gospel has reached to many places in the world, there are still millions of unsaved people. We honestly cannot save everyone, but we can pray for the unsaved and let God decide. If you are yet to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you are willing to do so now, go ahead and pray this salvation prayer.
2. Pray For The Healing Of Others
We cannot just watch and sympathise with other people when they are ill. We are Anointed and empowered to heal. The effective fervent prayer of the righteous avails much (James 5:16). Pray for their healing.
3. Pray For Their Protection
The enemy is striking hard in the end times and his main target are Christians. Pray for the protection of all Christians in the world. Pray for the protection of your loved ones.
See Also: Prayer For Protection Before Bedtime
4. Pray For Their Provision
Pray for God to provide for the needy. There are also many Christians would do a lot for God if they had the needed divine allocations.
5. Pray For God To Bless And Prosper Them
Pray and ask God to bless and prosper fellow Believers. It is the right thing to do.
6. Pray For Their Sound Health
3 John 1:2 KJVBeloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Without being in good health, many cannot go about God's business. Pray for their good health.
See Also: How To Pray Effectively
Benefits Of Praying For Others
There are powerful benefits behind praying for others. But it is only the wise and selfless who can tap into these benefits. Anyone who finds it difficult to stand in the gap for others cannot access them. I will highlight a few of them below:
1. Praying For Others Pleases God
Yes, obedience pleases God. One of the major goals of every genuine Christian should be to please God. When God is pleased with us, the benefits that will follow will overwhelm us.
2. It Causes God To Bless You
Job 42:10 KJVAnd the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.
When Job forgave and prayed for his friends (even after they offended him), God responded by blessing Job and giving him twice as much as he had before. This leaves us a powerful lesson to glean from.
3. It Causes God To Answer Our Personal Requests Faster
Praying for others is a key to receiving swift answers to your personal prayers to God. If you have prayed and asked God for many things for some time now, and the answers seem not to be coming, I'll give you a suggestion. Start mentioning other people in your prayers and pray effectively for them. Then watch how God turns things around for you.
4. Praying For Others Improves Your Relationship With God
Intercession is a powerful form of partnership with Jesus Christ. He loves it. Praying for others has the power to give a Christian a better relationship with Jesus Christ. It brings you closer to God and makes Him willing to communicate more with you. God is always on the look out for those who are willing to work with Him.
5. Praying For Others Aligns Us With God
Praying for others is a form of getting into alignment with God and His will towards humanity. A person who intercedes becomes a midwife who births the will of God on earth through prayers.
There are many more benefits attached to praying for others. It is better we individually experience them for ourselves.
Final Words On Praying For Others
Intercession is powerful. The ministry of intercession isn't just for those who are called as intercessors. Every Christian should be an intercessor.
Prayers aren't just meant to be offered only for Christians. We should pray for everyone as led by the Holy Spirit. Everyone needs compassion. Everyone needs the Saviour (although some might not admit it)—pray for their salvation.
It is the will of God that we pray for others. It is not optional, but mandatory. Start partnering with God by praying for others and watch what He will do for you.
See Also: Why God Delays Answering Prayers
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