Praying for One Another
It has been said that “you will die without good friends,” and God has been clear in Scripture that every believer is truly in dire need of other believers. Perhaps one of the greatest reasons for this is that we have the opportunity to pray for one another. Never has there been a sweeter sensation than to hear the voice of a beloved friend speaking your name heavenward, lifting your burden with you to Him who carries all. “Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you,” but sad is the person who must sit alone to cast their cares on God. Far better that a close brother or sister be there to help with the task, to bear it together, and to plead your case before the Father’s throne of grace. Do you have friends who truly pray for you? Do you pray with others, and pray for them? Today is a good day to pick up this habit. Next time someone asks you to pray for them, instead of "I'll pray for you," try this: "Let's pray together right now."
“Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul.” ― D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Prayer for one another is a gift of grace given by God. Take time to be intentional when you pray for others in the body. Seek out those around you and ask how you might pray with and for them. Seek out those close to you and ask them to pray with and for you.
“Suppose...that 80 or 90 percent of our petitions ask God for good health, recovery from illness, safety on the road, a good job, success in exams, the emotional needs of our children, success in our mortgage application, and much more of the same. How much of Paul’s praying revolves around equivalent items? If the center of our praying is far removed from the center of Paul’s praying, then even our very praying may serve as a wretched testimony to the remarkable success of the processes of paganization in our life and thought.” D. A. Carson from Praying with Paul: A Call to Spiritual Reformation
See some of Paul’s prayers in Col. 1:9-14; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:15-23, 3:14-21
In the book Why Small Groups? John Loftness writes: “Ever heard of the phrase 'a means of grace'? In theology, it refers to things we can do - such as pray or meditate on Scripture - to put ourselves in a position to receive something from God...Pray for one another especially regarding the things that burden us and how God is at work in our lives. Praying together is about as close as we can get to experiencing someone else’s fellowship with God and knowing the qualities of his relationship with his Lord.” Remember that, as you pray for others and ask others to pray for you, it is a means of grace given by God and praise and thank Him for His grace.
We know that believers are told in James 5:17 to “pray for one another.” Praying for one another is so important that God has commanded us to do it. But perhaps more significantly, what exactly is it that we should be praying for one another about? So often, we pray for medical conditions, financial pressures, family tensions, challenges at work, and the stresses of life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with those prayers. However, when you look at the prayers that people pray for one another in Scripture, they are always for personal spiritual growth, progress in the faith, love for Christ, and understanding in spiritual truths. Take some time today to read the prayer of Jesus is John 17. Read the prayers of Paul in Ephesians 1 and Colossians 1. Consider how your prayers can begin to more closely resemble the prayers of the Bible when you pray for other believers.
Let’s face it; we have likely all found ourselves in the position where we had a desire to pray for those around us, but we weren’t quite sure what to ask for. Do you pray for a general blessing on their lives, good health, success in their career? The possibilities are endless. For this reason, and many others, that’s why it is a good practice to model our prayers for others after the prayers of the Bible. After all, who knows what we need better than God? As you think about the subject of praying for others it is certainly right to pray for things like those mentioned above, but as we model our prayers after the Bible’s we will discover a new depth in our ability to pray for others. Read Ephesians 1:18-20 and spend some time praying for your family, church, and others accordingly.