Prayer For Others (7)

40daysprayer

As we approach a new year we recognize the privilege of approaching the Father on behalf of others. How much of our prayer time is devoted to our own needs as compared to interceding on behalf of our friends and family?

I would guess most people of prayer have a long list of others for whom they are praying often. But did you ever think that we might be sinning by neglecting to pray for others? There’s an interesting statement made by the prophet Samuel in regards to the selection of King Saul. Our prayer text today is 1 Samuel 12:13-25. When Samuel informed Israel that they had sinned against God by asking for a king (because God is King!) they reacted with a plea.

Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so we won’t die! For we have added to all our sins the evil of requesting a king for ourselves. ~1 Samuel 12:13

Samuel offered an encouraging reply. He warned them to keep their faith in the Lord, following and worshiping  Him alone.  He assured them that the Lord would not abandon them. Then he made this statement about prayer:

As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you. I will teach you the good and right way. Above all, fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart; consider the great things He has done for you. ~1 Samuel 12:23-24

Let us never neglect to pray for others – and especially their spiritual life and connection to the Lord. Here are a few thoughts about praying for others that we need to keep in mind:

*No one can pray for everyone. Especially with social media we could all have a prayer list with thousands. Everyone will just have to judge how many they can really commit to pray for – and do that.

*Always remember those you have committed to pray for. When you say you will pray for someone, let it be more than a sentimental response to a difficult situation. Actually spend some time in prayer for them.

*When we pray for others, keep in mind the spiritual needs they have and not only the physical. James connects praying for the sick with forgiveness of sins (James 5:13-18). Physical healing is desired, but much more important are the needs of the soul.

*Let others know that prayers continue. It is such a blessing to know you are being remembered in prayer by others. An elder once told me, “John, I pray for you every day.” That meant so much to me that I remember that affirmation many years later.

*Trust in the Lord, not in your prayers. As we commit to pray for others, we can feel overwhelmed. It is not ours to heal or save, but leave that work to God. Do what you can to relieve pain and suffering, but trust God to do things that are beyond our imagination.

“We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that He will get us involved in His plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.”  ~Corrie ten Boom

Samuel’s last statement reminds us that God has already done great things for us. Many of those things are in response to our prayers for others. Keep on praying!

God bless you in joining me for 40 Days of Prayer. We pray not only that this will be an excellent discipline for us, but also developmental of a great habit!

Prayerfully, JD

In case you’d like to print out your own copy of the 40 Days of Prayer for Spiritual Power, click HERE to access a free .pdf from Calhoun Church of Christ.