Prayer changes things, and when we get into a jam, it’s one of our main lines of spiritual defense. We pray to be forgiven, we pray for favor, we pray for protection—basically, our prayers are very ME-centered.
But how often do we throw in a word or two for someone else? Not often enough. So, today, we present these 3 scriptures to challenge you to spend time in prayer for others:
1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)- “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people.”
According to Paul in 1 Timothy chapter 2, verse 1, believers are to intercede on behalf of all people. Not just those we like, those we know, and those that we associate with. God expects us to pray over those who hate us, the poor and needy that we may not be familiar with, and anyone who does not know Christ. You and your family are not the only people in the world who struggle, so don’t pray as if you are.
Instead of talking recklessly about people, take up their issues with God; pray for the dysfunctional family, pray over the distant, hurting child, and intercede for those who don’t have the faith to go before God themselves. Whether your prayer is answered with a yes or no, don’t forget to thank God for taking time to listen to your plea on behalf of the hurting.
1 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)- “… for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
Pray for the leaders who rule the country, asking that God would either save them or gently guide them. Pray for anyone in a high position of authority, be it your boss, the mayor, or the governor, that they would be given the wisdom required to be effective in their leadership roles.
Ask God to give them the mental strength to deal with the pressures and demands of their duties. Pray so that not only their load is bearable, but that the individuals that serve under them are wise in their daily dealings, decisions and doings.
1 Timothy 2:3 (NIV)- “This is good, and pleases God our Savior…”
It delights the Lord when we pray for others, because it is His will that we look out for our fellowman. Pray for others the way you would pray for yourself: enthusiastically, desperately, earnestly, and whole-heartedly. Bombard heaven with requests for the peace of a friend, and the salvation of a stranger. James 5:16 tells us to pray for one another, because the prayer of the righteous is greatly effective.
But don’t limit this instruction only to praying for your brothers and sisters and Christ; extend your prayers to all who need them, in the church or not. The effectiveness of prayer is not dependent on whether the person being prayed over is saved or not; if the person being prayed over had to be saved beforehand, prayers for God to lead people to salvation would be of no use.
So, today, get down on your knees and fold your hands for someone else’s sake; you just might contribute to the change God makes in their life.