Why Should I Ask For Prayer?

Last post was on how it is a joy to be able to pray for others. This post will focus on the other side of the same coin, asking others to pray for you.

Is it simpler to offer prayers for someone rather than seeking prayers for yourself? Perhaps there’s a hesitation, a concern of not wanting to burden others with personal issues. It could be a comparison, thinking one’s struggles aren’t as significant as others, leading to the decision to keep it to oneself. Alternatively, the reluctance might stem from a pride issue, a fear that asking for prayers may expose vulnerabilities and weaknesses in one’s life.

Here are some reminders on the importance of asking other believers to pray for you:

1. Humbling Recognition of Dependence:

Opening up to seek prayer is a humble acknowledgment that our strength and abilities are limited. As Paul encourages in Ephesians 6:10, our true strength comes from the Lord and His might.

These well-known verses from Proverbs serve as a powerful reminder of our dependence on the Lord, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

We must recognize that nothing occurs beyond the scope of God’s care and control. Turning to Him, we express our dependence and place our trust in His sovereignty.

2. Submission to God’s Authority:

Prayer is a powerful act of submission, recognizing that God is in charge. It’s a deliberate casting of ourselves before the Lord, surrendering our concerns and acknowledging His sovereignty. He who is charge of all things invites us to ask and seek him. When we ask other believers to pray for us, we are united in seeking God’s sovereignty. 

We ask others to help us to say, “Not my will but your will be done.”

3. Shared Burden-Bearing:

Asking fellow believers for prayer is not a solitary endeavor but a shared burden-bearing. It’s an invitation for others to join in carrying the weight, creating a supportive community in alignment with God’s design.

We are commanded as fellow believers to be fellow burden bearers (Galatians 6:2).

Asking other believers to pray for you gives them an opportunity share your burden and to experience joy in lifting you up before the Lord.

Prayer is like breathing for the Christian

Let’s remember, prayer isn’t just a ministry within the church; it is the lifeblood of the church itself. It should flow so naturally in the life of a Christian, akin to the instinctive act of breathing for a person.

If then it is natural or as I look at it as the outflowing of ABIDING with God then we will naturally pray for others.

Pastor Iain M. Duguid writes this in his book The Whole Armor of God, “If you think of praying in the Spirit at all times, with all kinds of prayers, persistently for all of the saints, as a job description (Eph 6:18), it will wear you out. But for us as children of the great King, it is simply living life in the presence of our king. It is lifting hearts and minds and voices regularly to him in petition and praise as the Spirit leads.”

As we embrace prayer not as a duty but as the natural outflow of abiding with God, it becomes an integral part of our daily lives, akin to living in the constant presence of our King. Pastor Iain M. Duguid beautifully captures this essence in his book, highlighting that praying in the Spirit is not a wearisome job description but, as children of the great King, it is simply living life in communion with Him – lifting hearts, minds, and voices regularly in petition and praise, guided by the Spirit.

The Joy of Praying for Others

Christians can engage in actions that bring about joy in their lives. Among these, singing praises to God alongside fellow believers, finding encouragement in Scripture, and praying for one another stand out.

I have experienced moments of upliftment when a fellow Christian has earnestly prayed for me. Likewise, I find great fulfillment in the privilege of praying for others.

In the book of Ephesians, a portrayal of the spiritual warfare faced by Christians is vividly presented. The struggle is not merely against flesh and blood but against rulers, authorities, cosmic powers in this present darkness, and spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places (Eph 6:12).

Towards the culmination of Paul’s enumeration of the spiritual armor essential for the Christian’s battle, he emphasizes the importance of continuous prayer for one another. When Christians come together in prayer, a unifying and strengthening force is set into motion, fostering a sense of unity and mutual support.

The reason is that:

– We share a common adversary: the devil, whose intent is to kill, steal, and destroy, as stated in John 10:10.

– Our shared directive is clear: to fulfill the mission of making disciples worldwide, as outlined in Matthew 28:18-20.

– Employing the same strategies, our task is to proclaim the gospel. As fellow followers of Jesus, we are called to direct attention to Him, a purpose that perplexes the wise, as articulated in 1 Corinthians 1:27-31.

How Do We Do This?

In our shared calling and as comrades in the trenches of spiritual warfare, we face together, echoing Paul’s directive to “keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18), find joy in lifting up prayers for your fellow saints who stand beside you in the midst of the battle.

By Name:

It’s indeed a special and meaningful practice to pray for fellow believers by name. Numerous approaches can enhance this experience, and one noteworthy method is maintaining a prayer journal. This personalized record allows you to list each person’s name and note specific prayer requests or updates as they arise.

In our church community, we’ve taken a collective initiative by creating a comprehensive prayer notebook. It encompasses the names of everyone in our church and the missionary families we support. This not only serves as a prompt for interceding on behalf of one another but also provides a dedicated space for me to jot down specific details about each individual, fostering a more intentional and heartfelt prayer life.

By praying specifically for fellow believers to thrive in their walks with Jesus:

When you pray for fellow believers, consider expanding beyond physical needs and specifics. Take inspiration from Paul’s profound prayer in Ephesians 3:16-19, asking that, according to the riches of God’s glory, they may be strengthened with power through the Spirit in their inner being. Pray that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith, rooting and grounding them in love. Ask for the strength to comprehend the vastness of God’s love and to be filled with all the fullness of God.

In essence, you’re praying for their spiritual growth and a deepening understanding of the profound love of Jesus. This prayer, with its richness and depth, can have far-reaching effects, influencing various facets of life that, in turn, impact the church and the broader community.

As we commit to fervent and intentional prayers for one another, may the transformative power of God’s love, as beautifully articulated by Paul, resonate in our lives, fostering spiritual growth and unity within our community of believers. You will find joy in this wonderful task of praying for others!

How to Pray for Others

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Photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash

Many times I get this question, “Pastor, please pray for me.” Not only do I do my best to pray for them right then and there but I try to remember to pray for them throughout my week. I am often wondering how do I pray for others. I know it is lifting up their request but more so, how should my heart and mind be when I pray for them. I am so thankful for Scripture as we can see a model of what this looks like. Paul, the Apostle, would often pray for the different churches and mention that in his letters to them.
One of those particular prayers is found in the book of Philippians. In his pastoral prayer, we have a model of the heart behind praying for others.

1) Our prayers need to be thankful for others

Paul was thankful for the church in Philippi, he was thankful for them. He writes to them, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you (Philippians 1:3).” As a pastor I am reminded how I am thankful for the believers at my church. I am thankful for the unity that comes in Christ. Though there may be different in our interests, we have different backgrounds and upbringings, we have different likes and dislikes, different hobbies, different professions, different yet we have Christ who unites us. We go from unrelated to family. We go from strangers to a community. Christ who unites us is far greater than where we are diverse.
Continue reading “How to Pray for Others”

World Changer Wednesday: George Muller (1805-1898)

God’s Faithfulness on Display

Drawn by Andy Gutierrez

I am always amazed at the type of people God uses to accomplish His will. He uses people you would not always choose. If you were picking people for a team to be used by God, George Muller would probably be the last one picked, yet God, who is sovereign, makes beautiful things out of the mud and knew that Muller would be the man that God would use to save upwards of 10,000 children abandoned in England.
George Muller was born in Prussia, modern-day Germany, in 1805. He was a student of divinity. Though he knew about God, he did not know the things of God. He may have known somewhat of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, but the gospel did not permeate his heart. He knew nothing of the ‪saving grace of God.
Continue reading “World Changer Wednesday: George Muller (1805-1898)”