Making time to pray for others is vital to our Christian life. Without it, we become self-centered and overly engrossed in our own problems. Our mind gets wrapped up in what seems to be the largest burden we have ever dealt with. We do not recognize that our brothers and sisters are in a struggle of their own. They need us to pray for them just as much as we need someone to pray for us. When we do not address the need for prayer or when we do not ask for prayer, we delay blessings for both parties involved.
Make sure the following is understood. I am not suggesting that every prayer to God is laundry list of needs even if they are for someone else. Prayer is about spending time with God which includes listening to Him more than us calling on Jesus only when we need or want something. For those who have children, you know exactly what that sounds like. At the same time, we are to put our prayers before God constantly. The bible says that we "should always pray" (Luke 18.1 and Ephesians 6:18) because it is the communicating with God through the Holy Spirit that allows us to receive and understand his will. Without it, we are confused and left to our own weak, naive minds.
More important is to make those prayers on behalf of someone else. In the spiritual realm, it can be the difference maker in how soon angels reach someone in need. It can be the beacon to remind God of his promise to his children.
I refuse to take on any arguments about whether everything is predestined or whether we can change fate. Those arguments are futile in my one life of living because of this: I have been in multiple situations, even within the last 7 days, where not only did my prayer but the added prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ have helped move the hearts and actions of people involved in our lives. People have changed their minds about issues. Things that could not be imagined have suddenly occurred to bless my family. It is not a matter of if prayer works, it is just a choice of whether or not we will do it according to God's word.
I know more than enough friends and acquaintances who have asked for a prayer, when in need, then seen their circumstances or their own hearts change for the better. I will not stop praying for you and I hope you will continue to pray for me.
March 20: We Don’t (Really) Mean It
“I’ll pray for you.”
We say it often, but how many times do we actually remember to do it? Our biggest downfall might not be a lack of compassion—it’s probably just not taking time to write down the request and not having a model of praying for others.
Some of us might feel like we’ve mastered the art of the task list, but it can still be difficult to keep up with praying for our friends. It’s easy to think, “God knows their needs, so it’s fine.” But that’s not the New Testament view of prayer: we’re meant to pray always (Luke 18:1; 1 Thess 5:16). And Paul himself regularly asks for prayers. If they weren’t important, he wouldn’t ask (Col 4:3). For this reason, it would be helpful to develop a system to track what people need prayer for, like a prayer journal. But what about the model?
When I pray for God’s will in my life, I’ve found that using the Lord’s Prayer works well when I’m having trouble praying. But I haven’t adopted a model for praying for others. Psalm 20 contains such a model, and the psalmist offers some beautiful words for others:
“May Yahweh answer you in the day of trouble.… May he send you help … May he remember all your offerings … May he give to you your heart’s desire … May we shout for you over your victory” (Psa 20:1–5). And then the psalmist goes on to proclaim God’s goodness and that He will answer (Psa 20:6). And this is the line I think I love the most: “Some boast in chariots, and others in horses, but we boast in the name of Yahweh, our God. They will collapse and fall, and we will rise and stand firm” (Psa 20:7–8).
“They will … fall … and we will rise.” We must pray for our friends with this kind of confidence. And then the greatest challenge of all: we must pray for our enemies as well.
How can you hold yourself accountable to pray for others? How can you use Psalm 20 as a model for prayer? - John D. Barry