Theology Thursday: Pray for One Another
The Bible commands us to pray for one another, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16, ESV). God manifests Himself in many ways when praying together and for each other.
Jesus’ Prayer Pattern
Jesus often prayed with and for his disciples. He taught them to pray as a family: “Our Father in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9, ESV). When Jesus left them to go to the Father, they found strength in praying together: “All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers” (Acts 1:14, ESV).
As followers of Jesus; we depend in great measure on the public and private prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Apostle Paul often asked his fellow believers to pray for him as he preached Christ. In his letter to the Christians at Corinth, Paul asked them to pray for him as he was constantly under duress for preaching Jesus (2 Corinthians, 1:11).
Paul asked his fellow believers in Colossae to pray for him as he preached Christ: “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison — that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” (Colossians 4: 3-4, ESV).
We must not be ashamed of asking others to pray for us. If the Apostle Paul needed the prayers of his Christian family, we too need the prayers of our brothers and sisters.
Our Privilege and Responsibility
We must also be diligent in lifting our brothers and sisters in prayer to God. In his private prayer, Jesus lifted his disciples to the Father. Even when Jesus was nearing the time of his death, he prayed fervently for his followers.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus prayed to the Father for the protection, consecration and unity of his disciples: “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15, ESV). “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17, ESV). “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20-21, ESV).
We often forget that we are in a spiritual battle. Prayer is a spiritual weapon in this struggle. The Apostle Paul distinguished a fellow worker named Epaphras as a prayer warrior for his fellow believers: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12, ESV).
Our priority as followers of Jesus is our relationship with him and our obedience to his will. We must pray for the spiritual life of each other.
As we pray for one another, we must thank God for those believers God has placed in our lives, whether they are near or far. Each of them represents a member of the family of God, with God-given talents, callings and experiences. Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica: “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2, ESV).
We do the will of God when we lift each other in public and private prayers. We must remember that we are a family in the Lord, and God has given us this incredible privilege.
Want more? Check out the GCU blog page and our theology degree programs. To start your educational journey at our Christian college, click on the Request Info button at the top of your screen for more details.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.
More About GCU