Praying with Paul for Others
Everyone would agree that one of our great privileges and obligations is to pray for others, especially our family members and our spiritual children. But what should we pray for?
Fortunately, the apostle Paul recorded a sampling of his prayers in the letters he wrote. (They are found at the beginning of nearly all of his letters to the churches: Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians). From his prayers we have a master’s class on how to pray for others.
On evening, I read all of Paul’s recorded prayers for others that are found in his letters. Reading them in one sitting helped me see four characteristics of his prayers for others we should practice.
In nearly all of his prayers, Paul mentioned his gratitude to God for the ones he was praying for. Repeatedly, he mentioned how thankful he was for his spiritual children and how grateful he was the work God had already done and was doing in them.
A second thing I noticed as I read all of Paul’s prayers was the consistency of his prayers. For most of us, our tendency is to do most of our praying when there is a crisis. But when there is no urgency, we pray with less frequency and fervency.
Maybe if we prayed more when there was no emergency, we might have less emergencies.
One thing I loved about Paul’s prayers is the confidence he expressed. He believed that God was not finished yet. God still had more and better things on the way. He also made it clear that the basis of His confidence was because God is faithful. We can pray for others with great expectation because we are praying to a great and faithful God.
As I read these prayers, I realize that too often the aim of my prayers is much too low. I should expect God to hear and do wonderful things in their lives
I am sure that Paul prayed for their physical, material, vocation needs on occasion, but what comprised me was that the majority of his requests were for their spiritual condition. Plus, he prayed that they would not remain at their current levels of spiritual maturity but grow, increase and abound. I like the fact that the focus of his prayers was on the things that really matter and the things that last forever.
As you pray for others today, and every day, let me encourage you to
Pray Consistently: Pray Thankfully: Pray Expectantly. Pray Spiritually: