Prayer is a means of communicating with our heavenly Father. Prayer makes it possible for Christian to touch the heart of the Father through the son, Jesus Christ. Most often, we say the phrase pray for me to people around us when faced with difficult challenges, such as- marital issues, health problems, spiritual crises, depression, loss of job, rejection, disappointment, and broken relationship. Many do reach out to people closer or around them especially the ones they know as a true believer in Christ to pray along with them because they believe Gods answer the prayer of the righteous. This act of praying for someone in need is referred to as intercessory prayer.
What is intercessory prayer?
Intercessory prayer is when a person prays to God on behalf of others. It is a sacrificial prayer which involves more of other and less of you. This kind of prayer might be performed without the consent of the other party involved. It can done at any time in any place. Some Christians do take the responsibility of praying for others they know are passing through difficult situation, for instance, a relative with a terminal diseased that needs a miracle to survive or a friend with wife and two kids but still remains jobless for up to five months will need a job miracle in order to cater for his family.
Even in this modern days where everyone has free access to several social platforms, we see people requesting for prayers from their online friends by typing the words “please pray for me” right on their Facebook wall. Some might write something like “I will be going through surgery in some minutes kindly pray for me to be successful” or “please friends kindly pray along with me as I have some marital issues”, “I am in spiritual crisis, pray for me”, etc. These show our human nature of weakness and the need for divine intervention on delicate issues. The big question is if intercessory prayer is biblical?
Jesus prayer as example of intercessory prayer
Our Lord Jesus is a perfect example of a person that intercedes in prayers for others. Romans 8:34 told us how Jesus seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for all of us. He made the intercession for our transgression; he also prayed for his followers and taught us to do the same. The book of Matthew 5:44 say “but I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Jesus set an example of this in Luke 23:34 when he prayed to God for the forgiveness of those that crucified him instead of cursing them as many would have done. God truly appreciates those people that pray for others during trials. God wants us to share the same love with our family, friends and even enemy. Also we can ask other to pray for us, just tell “Pray for me!”.
How should we pray for others
Many people believe intercessory prayer is complicated but it’s not. Intercessory prayer does not require special training or the needs to be in a particular location to perform your prayers. You might be doing house chores, driving, alone in your closet, working in the office, walking on roadside then remember someone in need of prayer and just say simple prayers like “Dear God, I commit Mrs. George into your hands, please let her survive from the accident she was involved” or say “Lord Jesus, please save the soul of my friend and let him see the light in you”. Another example of intercessory prayers can be seen in (Numbers 12:13) when Moses prayed for Miriam’s healing from leprosy, “And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, heal her now O God, I beseech thee” and God answered him and healed her after seven days.
These are few samples of intercessory prayers we can say to God on behalf of people around us and the more we know them the better our prayer points towards them. Aside from praying for solving marital issues, job, and a financial breakthrough for people, we can also intercede for our country, other countries facing challenges, church, and company where we work. These are things we can pray for and the Bible encourages us do so (Philippians 4:6) says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”.
Although most of the prayers we pray for people today is quite different from the ones which are in the Bible. Jesus mostly prays for unity, love, faith in the body of Christ and salvation of the lost souls. He usually focused his prayers on spiritual blessings. However, regardless of how we pray or what we pray for, we must always seal our prayers with “Jesus name”. The only powerful name recognized on earth and through which we can talk to our heavenly Father. We can ask that other prayer for us with Jesus name, just ask “Pray for me!”.
Why should we pray for others
Many people might ask why we should pray since God is omniscience so there is no need for us to pray again. Although God knows everything including every challenge we are facing, he still wants us to ask Him. That’s why scripture says that we should ask and it shall be given to us in Matthew 7:7-8.
Intercessory prayer is a Commandment from God
Praying for others is a commandment, which God gave to us. He even told us to pray for those we know are our enemies. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). The apostle Paul also encourage Christians in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 which says “that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”. As a believer in Christ, we are to pray for the lost soul, friends, family, the missionaries.
Praying for others touches the heart of God
The words “pray for me” signifies someone in need of help, someone in trouble that seems so hard to face alone, someone who needs God intervention concerning a problem. The book of James 5:16 tell Church members to “pray one for another”. An intercessory prayer is the veil of God sweet mercy and grace which we release on those we pray for. Through intercessory prayer, God can do what we can’t do physically for our beloved ones. It makes God perform marvelous things in the lives of those we pray for because he said we should call upon him and he will answer us.
Praying for other is a medium of expressing God’s love
Prayer of intercession is one great way of showing God’s love and extending it to others around us. Many can through this medium surrender their lives to Christ. One of the greatest prayers is an intercessory prayer for lost souls. After praying for others we can expect God to answer us. Especially when we go to him in humility and a broken heart. God loves us by allowing Jesus to die for our sins for our Salvation. We must reciprocate God’s love not just to our fellow Christians but also to non-Christian and those that hate us.
God blesses us when we pray for others
To say the true, we are not only helping those we prayed for through prayers but also ourselves. God always honor and bless the intercessors and remember their prayers. Many people have testified on how God in his infinite mercy answered their request while interceding in prayers for others.
Most times we promise our friends and people around us that we will remember them in prayers after sharing their problems with us. It happens for us to forget this after that day. This has been the habit of many Christians but then there is room for us to change now. Let’s put in papers the names of those we want to be praying for in case we forget things easily. Maybe you have been praying for someone or something for a long time. To receive an answer, do not give-up, increase prayer time, remember that God acts according to His will, not ours. So don’t forget to ask help from other in difficult situations, just say “Pray for me!”
Also read: BIBLE VERSES ABOUT PRAYING FOR OTHERS