Even as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are actively involved in the intimate details of our prayer life, helping us to pray, so we are to pray for each other.
Somehow that simple act of praying for another person knits our hearts to the Father’s and re-enacts and somehow continues the intercessory work of the Son on our behalf. We are called to pray for each other.
But even as we pray for each other, and we are to do so, we do not always know how to pray. When a loved one is very ill, do we pray they will live… or die and go to be with Jesus whole and complete?
When a crisis confronts a brother or sister, a friend or spouse or family member, and they don’t tell us to pray or ask us to pray for them are we still to pray? Of course. Sometimes we pray and tell them we have prayed for them. Sometimes we never tell them.
We are to pray for one another that “we might be healed.” (James 5:14) We are to pray for our spouse as “our covenant partner” and as “heirs together.” (1 Peter 3:5) We are to pray for our leaders, including political ones (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and those in the church. (Ephesians 6:19-20) We are certainly to pray for our children, and specifically that they are properly clothed. Pray the full armor of God around them as you send them out. (Ephesians 6:10-17)
We are to pray for opportunity to speak the Gospel boldly where ever we are (Colossians 4:3). We are to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send forth laborers into His field (Matthew 9:38).
And in addition, we are to pray for the city in which we live (Jeremiah 29:7) and we are to pray for Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6-7).
But there is one more responsibility we have in prayer. We are to pray for those who spitefully use us. We are to pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44) This kind of praying tears down strongholds of anger and bitterness that the enemy can use to get access to our heart.
So, you see, the work of intercession is never completed. It is an ongoing and persistent task. The subject matter changes often, but the call to pray is ever the same… and always necessary.
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
FOR REFLECTION: As you think through the list of those you pray for, who might be on your list that has no one praying for them… but you?