Please, Friend, Pray

The king answered and said, ‘ if you do not make the dream known to me, there is but one sentence for you… Therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.’ The Chaldeans answered the king and said, ‘There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demand, for no great and powerful king has asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or Chaldean…’  Then Daniel went to his house and made the matter known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions might not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.” “Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’” “Brothers and sisters, pray for us… that we will be saved from sinful and evil people.” Daniel 2:8-10;17-19; Esther 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2

There was an urgency to their situations, and thus, to their requests. The need was great, much was on the line, time was of the essence. With a sense of imminent need, these people of God, who had a personal relationship with God and great faith themselves, did not even consider going solo, but called on their friends to pray for them. With our Lord Jesus and His host of fellow believers, we need never go forth into any battle alone. (Romans 8:34)

Bronze sculpture of boy pouring water for another, Dana Point, CA

Is this my practice, or do I, behaving like a spiritual misanthrope, decide I don’t need any help? Do I, even subconsciously, believe prayer doesn’t matter?

Enlisting others to pray, and pleading for them before God’s throne of grace, brings untold blessings and much fruit. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” When we pray specifically, pray with perspective which may inform or round out the requests of others, we help carry the burden of those in great need or under unique pressure or sorrow. Our persistent prayer supports our friends and reminds them they are not alone. And when they pray for us, our friendship is sweetened as we experience the inexpressible comfort of being ‘carried’ by the prayers of the saints. (2 Corinthians 8:14; Galatians 6:2,9; Hebrews 4:16; James 5:16)

Taking time to pray for others, earnestly and confidentially, is an undeniable expression of love. Answered prayer increases glory to God, builds faith, increases expectancy, encourages others. Why would we neglect such a wonderful gift?

Father, thank you for the privilege of praying for others, knowing they pray for me, and the immense joy of sharing in exalting You. Please prompt me to take full advantage of this inexpressible gift that is a vital part of friendship, that You may receive all praise as You respond.

 

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