Some Thoughts on Praying for Each Other
By Michelle Schonken
“I appeal to you, brothers [and sisters], by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…”
– Romans 15:30 (ESV)
We all know someone who needs prayer. Maybe someone is sick, or a baby has just been born, or people are going through rough times. It could be a myriad of needs, but the common denominator is that they need God’s help and supportive friends praying on their behalf. God knows all our needs, but has given us the amazing opportunity to be able to share our worries and cares with Him in prayer. When we come together and pray for a need, not only are we inviting God into the situation, but we are also showing our love and concern for each other too. That kind of community is one more way that we show and share God’s love.
So often we tell each other, “I’ll be praying for you,” but then completely forget to do exactly that. Lately, I’ve really wanted to become more intentional about praying. This meant that I had to decide that I wasn’t going to just say that I would be praying for someone, but actually following through. But I’m human, so I’ve made a point of making notes in my phone or on a notepad for prayer requests that come my way. Otherwise I’d completely forget until I saw that person again! I also needed to set aside some time to bring up these prayers to God. I’m not one for pomp and ceremony and my schedule is different every day, so I do my best to set aside what time I can in the morning, my lunch break, or in the evening to go over my prayer lists with God.
Some people that we are praying for, though, need some additional encouragement in their tough times and reassurance that they are not forgotten on our prayer list. One way of providing that support would be to pray for that person right there on the spot! Another way could be to bake or cook something for them and share with them that you are intentionally praying for them. I personally wanted to set aside time to pray everyday for someone that I know is sick… and I also really wanted to knit with some free time that I had! Are those opposite goals, you may ask? Not necessarily! I decided to knit a prayer shawl for my sick friend as I pray for them. (Check out more about what a prayer shawl is by clicking on this other article I wrote: https://markedministry.com/2015/08/28/how-to-knitting-or-crocheting-a-simple-prayer-shawl/ ).
But regardless if you decide to do something special for that someone that you know is in need, remember that your prayers are powerful and have an impact. We can show our love for each other and God by making a point of intentionally praying for them and talking to Jesus about their needs. Paul wasn’t shy about praying for others or asking for prayer when he needed it – and, boy, did he need it! When he asks his readers to “strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf,” he is inviting them to be actively and intentionally a part of the community that God has designed His children to be. Let’s be sure to take a moment today, tomorrow, and the days after, to remember to pray for someone in need. Many times I’ve been that person in need, and I can tell you that I’ve never said “no thank you” to any prayers on my behalf.