Why Do We Pray? (Part 5 – What Do Our Prayers Do for Others?)

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We’ve all had those moments in our prayer lives…We’ve been praying for a specific person for what seems like forever and nothing has changed.  Their healing hasn’t come; their marriage hasn’t been mended; their children haven’t been saved; their financial break through hasn’t happened.  It’s frustrating.  We sometimes may even question if we should continue to pray.  Perhaps God has other plans for this person’s life?  Perhaps we should focus on the other names on our prayer list?

In this situation, we are missing a vital point – our prayers for others aren’t about US.  They are being offered up in intercession for OTHERS.  To stop praying for another person before their needs are met would be an unwise decision.  We need the prayers of others especially when we aren’t visibly seeing God’s hand move in our lives.  It is during those times we will need the most faith, strength, and hope.

My daughter had a recurrent tumor for over three years.  For more than three years, people prayed for her to be healed.  They prayed for us to have courage and strength.  They prayed for our needs to be provided.  They prayed for us to stand strong in our faith.  Without those long years of intercessory prayer, I don’t know where my family would be today.  Yet, because of those intercessory prayers, I can tell you that my daughter is healed, our needs are met, and our faith is strong!

Three years was a long time for us and a long time for our prayer warriors to lift us up day after day after day, but thank God they did!  I can assure you there are those who have waited longer for their answer.  Many are still waiting.  Please don’t give up on them because God’s perfect will seems to be taking a little longer.

Intercessory prayer is vital in our Christian walk.  James 5:16 tells us to “pray for each other so that you might be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  God wants us to pray for one another.  He even tells us that it is effective.  How can we give up when He tells us it makes a difference?

I know for a fact my mother has prayed over me and my brothers since before we were ever born.  She still prays for us each day.  I pray for my daughter and always will.  Sometimes certain intercessory prayers are an essential part of our prayer life.  They don’t change.  We continuously pray for certain people or situations (e.g. our pastor, our nation, our spouse, etc…) because we want God’s constant presence, protection, and blessings over them.

Scripture

1 Timothy 2:1 NIV

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone.”

Prayer

Father God, help us to always remember to lift up others in our prayers.  There are so many around us in need.  We can help meet their needs by covering them in prayer.  So often we may get busy or forgetful of the requests of others.  Please lay them on our hearts and our minds.  The Holy Spirit intercedes for us daily.  Thank you for the privilege of allowing us to do the same for others.  Give us servant’s hearts who seek to fulfill the needs of others before our own.  Help us be a blessing to someone each day,  Help us be the prayer warrior you created us to be.  Let us show Your love to others more and more.  We love You, and we ask these things in Jesus’ holy name.  Amen.

Action

A couple of years ago on New Year’s Day, I made a pledge to pray for specific people every day for a whole year.  I asked God to help me choose the people for my list.  He gave me four names.  I prayed earnestly for those people for an entire year.  The next New Year’s I did the same and created a new list of names.  I have witnessed healings, blessings, and restorations as I followed the lives of these individuals.  I never told them they were on a “special” list.  Some of them were not even people I spoke to very often.  Yet, I would keep up via social media or through mutual friends or family.

I pray for others as well, but these people are at the heart of my prayer list.  I intend to always keep a “list” like this for prayer.  It helps me to remember to pray for others, and it also allows me to see God working in their lives.  I can see at the end of the year where He has brought them and the difference He is making in their lives.

Would all this happen without my prayers?  Maybe.  Yet, I would miss out on the blessing of interceding for others and witnessing His hand at work.

How do you remember to pray for others?  What have  you witnessed as a result that of intercessory prayer that serves as a testament to God’s faithfulness?

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