I find it easy to pray for myself.
“Lord, please help me through this, I can’t do it without you.”
“Holy Spirit, please guide and direct me as I make these tough decisions.”
“Lord, I desire this more than anything. Please, show me grace in this.”
But, it is not as easy to pray for other people. Especially, when it means praying for them something I want for myself.
God, through scripture, brought conviction in this.
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power
2 Thessalonians 1:11
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power.
Obviously, praying for other believers is a integral part of Christian unity.
It is easy to say to someone, “I am praying for you.” It is easy to shoot up a quick, unemotional, “Lord, please help so-and-so.” But, to earnestly pray for someone - to carry their burden as if it is your own - I think that is a different thing entirely.
So, a few months ago, I began praying purposefully. I prayed for many sweet sisters to conceive. I prayed for others to hear a heartbeat at their first ultrasound. I prayed for healthy pregnancies and babies.
And, I continue to pray. I pray that these women would realize the depths of God’s grace, which is not based on circumstance. I pray that they would cherish Christ as absolutely worthy of any pain or heartache they may experience in this life. I pray they would want nothing more than to bring God glory with their lives.
I would be lying to you if I said it was easy to pray earnestly in these matters. To be truthful, it is difficult. These prayers reveal the egocentric sinful nature within me. They reveal ugly jealousy, self-pity, and even reservations about God’s goodness. Ultimately, they reveal my continued need for repentance and my continued need for the power of the Gospel to sanctify me and cleanse me from unrighteousness.
Pray EARNESTLY for others. Even when it is hard. Even when it hurts.
May God be glorified through our earnest prayers.