10/22/17 Praying for Others

READING: Isaiah 65-66, 1 Timothy 2

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray.”

1 Timothy 2:8

As believers, we have all kinds of opportunities to help others. For example, we give to those who are hungry and thirsty. We visit those who are sick and in prison. Our churches offer counseling to struggling individuals and wounded families. Some churches offer literacy training to the illiterate and English language training to internationals. Some believers open their homes for the homeless, the abused, and the disadvantaged. The needs of the world are numerous, and believers have a unique calling and love to help meet those needs.

But, one of the greatest privileges we have is to pray for others. The task may not seem as “glamorous” as meeting public needs, but it has incredible effect on the work of the gospel. Indeed, the apostle Paul used multiple terms to describe what we’re privilege to do—“supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings”—and he called us to pray for “all people” (1 Tim. 2:1). That includes praying for kings and those “who are in high positions” (1 Tim. 2:2) so that we might live peaceful lives out of which we can be strong witnesses for Christ. We intercede for others because God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4), and it is through the preaching of the Word and the prayers of God’s people that others are saved.

My friend who led me to the Lord many years ago prayed for me as he told me about Jesus. Some years later, I learned that my paternal grandmother had been praying for me for years. I suspect that my next-door neighbor who was a Christian was praying for me as well. Forty-three years after my conversion, I’m the product of the prayers of God’s people. When I remember that truth, I’m encouraged to pray more intentionally and passionately for non-believing family, friends, and neighbors. I must pray for them because of the example and challenge that Paul gave us; more than that, however, I’m learning that I simply get to pray for them because I love them and want them to know Jesus.

ACTION STEPS: 

  • Pray diligently today for someone who is not a Christ-follower.
  • If you are yourself not a believer, be aware that it’s likely others have been praying for you. Turn to Christ, and ask Him to save you.

PRAYER: “Lord, I thank You for people who have prayed for me. I commit myself to pray for others, including those in high places.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Jeremiah 1-2, 1 Timothy 3