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why do we need to pray for others

Learning to pray for others is one of the first things we learn as Christians: we see it commended on every other page of the New Testament; we see it modelled in every other meeting of Christians we participate in; and Christian parents model it to their children from birth. Have you ever stopped to think about why we pray for others, however? Or why we ask prayer from others? I was made to really consider the question when I first read through 2 Corinthians 1. And what the Apostle Paul says there continues to provoke me to thought and wonder every time I read it. More of that passage in a moment; but I guess, at the most basic level, we pray for our friends because we love them. We desire their good, we desire their growth: we desire their conversion and conformity to Christ. And what more loving thing is there to do than to pray to the one who loves us with a love beyond our ability to conceive, a love that is accompanied
by the ability to do it, and which nothing can thwart? Praying for others is more than just the best thing to do when I can t do any more for themБa last option for love when all other options are exhaustedБit is always the best thing to do for them (though not the only, of course! ). It ought come as no surprise, therefore, that Jesus calls on us to pray not just for our friends, but also for our enemies, since we are called to love our enemies too : БYou have heard that it was said, БYou shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy. Б But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute youБ ( ).

Further, it should come as no surprise (yet so often it does, given our fallen minds), for the reason Jesus gives for loving (our enemies, no less! ) with prayer is: Бso that you may be sons of your Father who is in heavenБ ( ). If we are the children of God, then we need to live that out. And as we look at Jesus, the Son of GodБour adoptive brotherБwe see one who died in love for his enemies (us), and whose life is in love characterized by prayer for others: in his earthly ministry, in the Garden before he died, on the cross, and now in heaven itself, where Бhe always lives to make intercession for themБ ( ). More so, within the Trinitarian life of God, the Spirit too intercedes for us ( ). The one true and living God, who is love, is the God who prays for others. And so, as the children of God, in whom his Spirit dwells, we too are characterized by prayer for others. Prayer is more than just love for our neighbour, however. Understood properly, prayer is love for God. For in prayer we acknowledge and rightly express both his place as the sovereign creator of this world, and our place as those who trust him in all things. In prayer we trustingly live out the reality that all good things come from his hand, that our lives are in his hands, that all things happen in conformity with the purpose of his will. Praying for others is as much about giving God the power and glory that are his, as it is about loving our neighbour.

This is made most abundantly clear to me every time I read : БYou also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. Б Did you notice how God-centred (БtheocentricБ) Paul s request for prayer is? He wants people to pray for him so that, when the prayers are answered, there will be many people to give thanks to God. Paul s desire for prayer from the Corinthians is not just for thanksgiving, but for the multiplication of thanksgiving. For what reason do we pray for others? For what reason do we ask for prayer? Is it because we love them? Is it because we love God, and want to spread the praise and thanks around, to magnify his name? In a way, prayer letters make it easier to do this, since they tend to spell out answers to prayer and points for thanks. If it s not your habit to do this, however, can I suggest that your Bible-study group, as well as you yourself personally, develop a Бprayer diaryБ that can be reviewed, so that the prayers prayed in weeks previous can be remembered, and given thanks for when they are answered? If you lead prayers at church, to occasionally ask not just for prayer points, but for answered-prayer points? As for me, as I ve written this I ve realized the danger of my current system: my prayer diary will fill up with friends and family, but my enemies are conspicuously absent. Pray for me, that I d learn to pray well for my enemies, and give thanks when the prayer is answered.

Why should I pray for others? God wants us to care for others by praying for them. Jesus prayed for others and wants us to follow His example. He prayed that His disciples would be filled with joy, be safe from evil, and be holy. He also prayed for us! Why did Jesus say we should follow His example and pray for others? в God wants to talk to us. Prayer is a great way to stay in touch and learn about our Heavenly Father. Itвs also the way to learn what God wants us to do and let Him direct us. в Praying for others changes us. When we pray for others, our view of them changes. We learn to care more about them. Jesus tells us to pray even for people who are mean (Matthew 5:44). Praying for our enemies is one of the best ways to help them. We can pray that they find Jesus and learn that He loves them. в God answers our prayers. He is all-powerful, so He can answer any prayer thatвs in His plan for us. He is also all-good, so He will always answer with whatвs best for us. If youвre not sure who to pray for, check out " "I want all of you to pray for everyone. Ask God to bless them. Give thanks for them" (1 Timothy 2:1). "At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all of Godвs people" (Ephesians 6:18). "The LORD is ready to help all those who call out to him. He helps those who really mean it when they call out to him" (Psalm 145:18).

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