I’ve written about prayer before, but I want to shift the focus this time from praying for everyone (1 Tim. 2:1, 8) to praying for our brethren. There are numerous examples of praying for those close to us and who share our faith. Jesus prayed for His disciples and “for them also which shall believe on Me through their word” (John 17:20). Paul mentions that he prays for the brethren (Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 13:7; Eph. 1:16; Php. 1:4, 9; Col. 1:3, 9; 1 Thes. 1:2, 3:10; 2 Thes. 1:11; 2 Tim 1:3; Phm. 1:4 ) and instructs his readers to pray for each other, for him, and for others in ministry (Rom. 15:30; 2 Cor. 1:11; Eph. 6:18; Col. 4:2-3, 12; 1 Thes. 5:25; 2 Thes. 3:1; Heb. 13:18). James tells us to “pray one for another, that ye may be healed” (Jas. 5:16).
Each time Paul says that he is praying for the brethren, he mentions specific things he is praying. In Romans, it is that he will be able to visit them shortly. In 2 Corinthians, he prays that they would “do no evil.” In Ephesians, he asks “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”. Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Timothy, and Philemon record general requests made on someone’s behalf.
In Colossians and 2 Thessalonians, Paul gives more extensive lists of specific things he was praying for. These can serve as a model when we are praying for each other. The focus is on spiritual matters, praying for a person to increase in knowledge and develop a closer relationship with God.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness (Col 1:9-11)
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thes. 1:11-12)
From James 5:16, we know that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Prayer is one of the most helpful things we can do for another person. We should never feel like, “I just don’t know what I can do to help” as long as we are able to pray.
I’m going to end this post with a lovely prayer recorded in Psalm 20 as translated in The Holy Bible in its Original Order. Usually I prefer the King James for Psalms, but the translation for this psalm makes the prayer seem more personal, and God’s help nearer.
May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble, the name of the God of Jacob set you on high, may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion. May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah. May He grant you according to your own heart and fulfill all your plans.
We will shout for joy in your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up banners; may the Lord fulfill all your prayers. Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen, but we have risen and stand upright. Save, O Lord; let the King hear us when we call.