Thou Shall Pray For Others...
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
I didn’t want to go.
After being invited to a homeschool mom’s outing, I spent the entire morning coming up with reasons I shouldn’t attend. It was at my children’s naptime. I had too many errands to run. I won’t know anyone there. My children may misbehave. My excuses were numerous but no matter how hard I tried to get myself out of the event I could hear the Lord gently tugging at my heart to attend. Out of obedience to the Lord, I went convinced that there must be a greater purpose behind it all. Sure enough, after sitting in the playgroup counting down the moments to leave, the Lord drew my attention to a fellow mother who was having a tough day.
“Go pray for her.”
Although at this point, I had been a licensed minister for years and had been in ministry for over a decade, I was filled with hesitation at the thought of approaching a stranger and asking to pray. Somehow, I mustered the courage to ask if I could pray for her. In that church parking lot, I prayed for her peace, I prayed for a strategy for caring for her little ones, and I prayed that she would encounter God in a new way. Little did I know that this simple prayer would change her life. Years later, this same mother from the parking lot plays keyboard for our church plant and has brought her entire family to church. Her children have a fond love for the Lord and have all been baptized. Whenever sharing how she got to the church, she always shares the story of the lady who prayed for her in the parking lot. My mind always pauses and thinks, “It all started with a prayer.”
My friend, we have been called to pray. The heartbeat of every Christian should be to seek our Father any chance that we have. Yet, we miss a great opportunity when we hoard our prayer life to ourselves, never considering others who may be in need. Yes! There are those around us waiting for someone to simply say, “Can I pray for you?”
I love the words found in Job 42:10
“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
The story of Job is a powerful example of the importance of prayer. Job had lost everything. His children, his wife, his livestock, and more. Yet, in this moment, Job removes his attention from his own cares and frustrations. Instead, he prays for his friends. And we see that God responds to this act of selflessness with complete restoration.
There is power in prayer! Our friends need others who can pray and intercede in heaven for them. When we do so, we will find peace in taking our eyes off our own needs to care for another person. May we be intentional about finding an opportunity to pray. Whether through a text message or in an old church parking lot, may we be bold enough to pray.
Lord, I thank you for opportunities to pray for others. I ask that you bring people to my attention who are hurting and are in need. Give me the courage to pray boldly and the words that will resonate in their heart. I pray against fear and insecurity that would cause me to stay silent. Help me to move and speak by your Spirit. I thank you that there is power in prayer and I am believing in you for blessings on behalf of those I pray for. Show up in mighty way, as you always do. In Jesus name. Amen.
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