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Pray for One Anotherby Duane Mabee on May 26, 2022
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 ESV
We are to pray for one another, but our practice suggests we don’t see praying for someone as all that useful. The Bible sees it differently.
Praying for one another is part of our spiritual weaponry, and it is key to our spiritual success. We are to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak,” (Eph. 6:18-20 ESV). Paul believes so much in the importance and effectiveness of praying for each other that he wants us to pray for everyone, specifically him.
God values prayer so highly that He has assigned the Holy Spirit and Jesus to pray for us throughout the ages (Rom. 8:26, 27 & 34). Prayer must be strategically important for two-thirds of the Trinity involved in it on an ongoing basis.
So, how should we pray for each other? The short, and maybe best, answer is, “any way you want someone else to pray for you”. There are some obvious exceptions. You may want others to pray for you to have a child, but your octogenarian friends probably don’t want you to pray that way for them.
The context of James 5:16 gives some suggestions about how to pray. The fact that we are to confess our sins to each other suggests that we should also pray for forgiveness and restoration for each other. We should pray for the ability to avoid repeating the sins confessed. James also tells us to pray for those who are suffering, sick and in need of healing.
Paul’s letters are filled with examples of how he prayed for the saints and commands about how we should. We should pray for each other with joy and thanksgiving. We should praise God for all the saints. We should also pray for their spiritual growth, enlightenment, and progress, (Eph. 1:15-21). We should pray for spiritual grounding and power, (Eph. 3:14-21). We should pray for spiritual boldness and effectiveness.
How do you pray for other believers? If you are not happy with them and how they are progressing, could it have anything to do with how you pray – or don’t pray – for them? Let’s commit to join the Holy Spirit and Jesus in praying for each other.