PRAYING FOR OTHERS
SATURDAY 01 OCTOBER 2022
Christians who pray for others are wise. I consider them as faithful ministers of Christ on other people's behalf. One of the best prayers we can pray for fellow Christians is "Paul and Epaphras" prayer for the Colossians (see Colossians 1:9-14 NIV). Part of it reads, "...since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God...
Reference Colossians 4:12 New International Version (NIV) " Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured."
In today's Scripture, Epaphras is one of us and a servant of Christ who is sending his greetings to the saints he loves dearly. Paul acknowledges that he is wrestling in prayer for them. What does "wrestling in prayer" for others mean? Through such prayer, you can combat an opposing tendency or force working against those you're praying for. You can also engage in intercessory prayer over someone who could be in a spiritual battle against a determined opponent, contrary forces or negativity. Epaphras continued earnestly in spiritual warfare on behalf of the saints, because of his commitment to prayer. He, being vigilant in prayer with thanksgiving, wrestled and laboured earnestly for the Colossian Christians to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. In other words, he prayerfully ensured that their lives and faith walk would continue to prosper according to God's will.
Beloved, prayer can change anything and inspire the act of godly living in others. Therefore, today's topic is designed to encourage us to take praying for others seriously. Epaphras evidently demonstrated a great zeal for prayer, just as Paul supported the same Colossian church through his prayers (see Colossians 1:3-8). By praying earnestly for other people, we can free them from various limitations, enlighten their darkness, as well as quicken and energise their souls and inner man for effective Christian living. By interceding for others, we can make the weakest among us strong, and even the strong to grow stronger in faith.
In Samuel's farewell address to the Israelites, he said, "Indeed, for the sake of His great name, the LORD will not abandon His people, because He was pleased to make you His own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you. And I will continue to teach you the good and right way. Above all, fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things He has done for you.…" (1 Samuel 12:22-24 NIV). Did you know it's a sin to neglect praying for others, especially for those God has placed in your heart and in your world? This is a truth that is often left unexpressed, however it's vital and disturbing. Some Christians who have slacked off in praying for others can tell of one or two negative situations, and even people the Lord would've used them to save from their trouble or afflictions, if they had listened or taken their priestly role seriously.
Beloved, we must learn and condition ourselves to pray for others, as well as for ourselves, beseeching the Lord to prosper those we pray for, open their eyes to the things of the Spirit, deliver the oppressed, recover the weak, as well as heal the sick and relieve the afflicted. And more importantly, let us be truly thankful that we serve the only true God that hears and answers all our prayers. Shalom!
Scripture Reading - Luke 18:1; Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Guided Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, I thank you for my prayer life which is active by the help of your Spirit. By praying for others, I establish that you continually carry on the work and influence of your grace upon their lives and souls in Jesus' Name, Amen!