“… And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me” (Ephesians 6:18-19, NIV)
Both private personal prayers and public prayers are an important part of the Christian life. After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, the disciples “with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14). Later on in the book of Acts, we repeatedly read about the early church gathering to pray together. Sometimes they prayed for special needs of particular church members. In Acts 12:5, for example, when Peter was kept in prison, “earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church”. On several occasions, the apostle Paul asks people to pray for him and for his missionary work. He also urges local churches to always pray for all of God’s people.
If we are to pray for one another, we need to know about one another’s needs. It’s good to share our prayer requests when we are going through hard times or when we are organizing an evangelistic event, for example. It is comforting to know that fellow believers are praying for us, either as a group or in their personal prayers.
When God has answered our requests, it is encouraging to share this news and thank God together. This is one way to bear one another’s burdens, as we are called to do in Galatians 6:2.
Do you pray for others?