"Pray for one another" James 5:16
The devotionals for this week have primarily focused on ourselves. Of course, prayer is a very personal thing we do with God, and we should work on ourselves while in prayer, but prayer is also for others. The verse here in James deals with prayer and has a lot of great information. I encourage you to go and read all of this portion of scripture (James 5:13-18) and meditate on everything that is said about prayer.
Today's focus is on praying for others, also called intercession. I once read a book called "Prayer That Brings Revival," and in this book, Dr. Cho explains Matt. 7:7,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
as a pattern in scripture for prayer. The asking is us wanting God to move in our situation, the seeking is us wanting to know God more, and the knocking is us coming to God for others. We do not continue to knock because God is not listening or ignoring us. We continue to go to Him and stand in for others to keep the conversation with God ongoing. Once again, we see this theme that prayer is a continual thing we must do. God desires us to come to Him daily in every aspect of prayer. Intercession for others is no different. God is pleased when we show concern for others by bringing them up to Him and asking for their needs to be met. How selfish is it to only ask for our needs and relationship to develop with God? We should and must ask God to help others so their relationship would grow with Him too.
How Does This Look?
Intercession has been displayed in many different ways within church circles over the years. We have intercessory prayer teams and meetings that we have held to intercede for our families, friends, and nation. Some have been good and very productive, while others have displayed extremism in the Church. There is nothing special we must do to pray for others. There is no particular call we must have on our life. No specific place we must go. No particular posture we must do to present ourself to Lord so that you can intercede. There are two things required, obedience and compassion. We must obey what God tells us to do and have compassion for others, genuinely caring for them as we bring them to Lord. Yes, some people are more attentive to praying for others and have a substantial burden on their lives to pray. We have called them our "prayer warriors" or "prayer teams," but we are all compelled to pray for others.
As we move into our prayer time today, let's pray for others. Start with our country and leaders. Then pray for leaders in your life, like your boss, parents, and pastors. Then pray for people you know need prayer, those who have asked for it. Once you have done that, pray for your close family and friends. Then ask the Lord to reveal to you who may need some prayer. If a person pops in your head pray for them, but ask the Lord how to pray for them. Is there anything specific that He wants you to pray for? Also, ask if you need to reach out to them. Seek God for direction for this person. Be patient and if the Lord gives you someone pray throughout the day for them.