Why is praying for others so hard? It’s so easy to forget. It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. It’s even easier to make it a simple “Bless them, Lord.” You forget, they don’t respond like you are praying for, or it takes longer than you had hoped, and prayer…is…hard…work. But is that really interceding for others?
One prayer warrior intercessor of the early 1800s would keep a regular prayer list. Once someone got on that they list, they stayed there FOREVER (until the issue was resolved, they accepted Christ, or they died).
A few years ago, I was inspired by this. I began a prayer list. I organized it between categories of family, personal, ministry, friends, etc. My prayer list is electronic so it is set to remind me to pray for some of them monthly, weekly, yearly, etc. I’m not good with doing it every day for everyone and everything on my list. It’s long. But the randomness with which some things pop up is vital to my staying engaged with my prayer list.
The hardest people to pray for (for me) are relatives. This is especially true for my kids. It becomes very easy for them to become all we pray for. There is nothing so precious to me, to us, as our kids. But our kids can become idols because of our demands of God, our desires and our emphasis in prayer. When our focus becomes our kids then they become idols in our hearts. It has happened to me.
However, we are called to be intercessors.
1 Timothy 2:1 (ESV) 2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
Hebrews 7:25 (ESV) 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
For me, I’ve become a better intercessor for others, since I’ve begun to learn how to intercede for my child that has walked away from God. I also cannot tell you how much joy I receive when someone tells me they are praying for my kid. I now try to pass that on for others. I have people I regularly intercede for that I met once, but told them I would pray for them. I met two guys on the beach one day. God impressed me to pray for them. One was named Jude. The other Joshua. I don’t know any more about them, yet God has kept me praying for their salvation.
What does it mean to pray for others? Details? Time? Knowledge? Regularity? Regularity is likely the key.
When was the last time you prayed FOR not ABOUT the:
- extended family
- church person
- someone you dislike
In reality, this is the ultimate question, right? When was the last time you prayed for other people, more than you prayed about your issues, your problems, your wants, your fears, etc? When was the last time we prayed for others?
Praying for others is hard! Want to join me in this quest? Tell me about your quest in the comments section, please.