What is the focus of your prayer life? Do you pray more for yourself than for others? Many Christians jump into their prayer life with a grocery list of personal things they want God to do in their life.
While it is proper to bring our personal cares before the Lord, it is of greater importance to pray for others, both the saved and the unsaved. Praying for ourselves and for others is something God commands us to do.
Effective prayer for others will bring us closer to God, because effective prayer is based on a knowledge of His will. It will also bring us closer to others, as we learn more about them and focus on their needs.
Praying for others is important because we are to emulate Jesus who prayed for us (John 17:20). Here are some ways the Bible tell us we should intercede:
- We are to pray for all people (1 Timothy 2:1).
- We are to pray for government leaders (1 Timothy 2:2).
- We are to pray for the unsaved (Romans 10:1).
- We are to pray for fellow Christians (Ephesians 6:18).
- We are to pray for ministers of the gospel (Colossians 4:3).
- We are to pray for the persecuted church (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
Praying for others gets our focus off of ourselves and onto the needs of those around us. As we “carry each other’s burdens,” we “will fulfill the law of Christ.” Begin praying for others more today and help to build up the body of Christ. It is a great way to grow spiritually.
Lord, help me to pray more for others than for myself. May I see the needs of others and bring them before the throne of grace, and may I grow spiritually in the process. Amen.
Go Deeper ― As you contemplate your prayer life, ask whether sufficient focus is given to praying for others. You can learn more about intercessory prayer by reading God Uses People to Bridge the Gap.
Photo Credit: Nick Tong