This morning I was praying over my prayer list. Each person of our Ladies’ Bible Study group brings a list of names that they want prayed over. We do not know the reasons they are on the list, but God does! This is the list I got plus I added my own list to it. I am messy, I know!
So this got me to thinking today about intercessory prayer and if it is Biblical and does it work, is it necessary.
So I looked up some verses to decide how important it intercessory prayer should be in my life. Some of the questions I have are …Who said we should pray for others? Did Jesus? Also, in what circumstances. And for me, my insecurity pops up its ugly head, and I want to know who is expected to pray for others. So here we go…….into the Bible.. God’s Holy Word, instruction manual and, I believe, the way to know God… (I am contemplating a new study on how to know God better). Of course I believe most of these are just for me because I need them, and no one really comes to my web site. Maybe someday, but for now, I do this for me and a few friends.
Who said we should pray for others?
Well Jesus prayed for people! And are we not to try to be like Him?
Jesus prayed for sinners who were crucifying Him! So I guess no enemy is excluded. Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing ” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Wow He is still praying for us sinners! Think about it … it is amazing!…Romans: 8:34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Paul said we should pray for others…1.Timothy 2: 1-4 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Samuel thought was a sin not to pray for others!! Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way”
1 Samuel 12:23
David prayed for others… (Many more examples can be found)…Psalm 35:13 When they were sick, I wore sackcloth, and refrained from eating food. (If I am lying, may my prayers go unanswered!)
God is looking for people who are praying intercessory prayers!! ...And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the Lord God. Ezekiel 22:30-31
God answers intercessory prayers…..
And Isaac prayed much to the Lord for his wife because she was unable to bear children; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife became pregnant.
Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Matthew 17:14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
Mark 9:17–29, A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
Luke 8:49–55 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
Who should pray for others? Me? Well the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective!!… James 5:16 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.
Am I righteous? Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man [Adam], death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
I am! So are you if you have accepted Christ as your Savior!
Ok, now I feel like I should do better at praying for others. To summarize: Jesus, Paul and more said we should pray for others! When I look at in what circumstances, I see from just the few verses I listed we should pray for healing, for those in high positions, for all the saints and pretty much for all reasons! And does that mean me? Well if I am a child of God, it means me!
Better go get to praying for others….maybe even you!