The scriptures teach us to pray without ceasing but more so, it teaches us to pray for others more than ourselves.it is replete with examples of praying for others as well as calls to do so. Praying for others is proof of our growth in Christ and it reflects God’s character of outgoing love and mercy. It is a responsibility conferred on us believers. Paul urges us “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men (Timothy 2:1). Let’s examine a few people we are to pray for
a. The Unsaved (Those who are yet to receive the gospel of Christ)
2Cor 4:3 if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that that are lost. In whom the gods of these earth had blinded their minds that they should believe not, lest the light of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.
The unbeliever needs light, illumination. He needs a preacher; he needs to hear and he needs to believe. (Rom 10:14-15).
So we pray for the unsaved that there be a release of persons to reach this person(s) especially in a case where we can’t reach them. We pray that all hindrances to the free flow of light to him/her be taken away, the word runs freely and be glorified. (2Thess 3:1, Col 4:3, Acts 4:29)
b. Praying for the Believer
Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Prayer achieves this ministry for us. The new testament shows us that the number one need for every believer in all situations is (are) Insight and Wisdom (1Pt2:2, 2Pt 3:18). The believer’s growth is a function of knowledge, knowledge of our salvation in Christ Jesus, and all it entails.
So we pray for the believer that he would know the inheritance of the family he belongs (Eph 1:16-23), be strengthened by the spirit within and filled with the fullness of God (Eph 3:16-20), that our love increases via knowledge and discernment (Phil 1:9), full of the knowledge to appreciate and walk in God’s plan and purpose, hence pleasing and producing more fruit (Col 1:19), that we grow in every good work which causes us to do the things which glorify him (Heb 13:20).
These are biblical principles on how we pray for believers. The invitation is for all believers to serve through intercessory prayer. Praying for others is not a choice; it is our privilege. Make it a daily habit. We were not made for ourselves alone.
To be continued.