James 5:13-16 (NLT)
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Welcome to my life! I have survived another curve-in-the-road life-changing moment because somebody prayed for me. Yes, I prayed for me, too. But I know how I felt in those moments of anticipation and dread leading up to sending our children off on their adventure to serve and seek the Lord. My thoughts and emotions ranged from faithful to fanatical like a roller coaster up and down. I tried leaning into the turns and taking it as it comes. But when the moment came to say, “Goodbye” was when I completely fell apart and knew I could not weather this storm alone. I have not cried that much or that long in a while. I am certain some of those tears were stored up from the last few years but when the dam broke it was downright ugly. Many people had promised to pray for us. People always do. It is the go-to of the church when there is no earthly solution to our pain or plan that can be seen. Sometimes they do and other times it just a salutation of solace to try to offer some form of comfort. But can I testify for a moment…the earnest heartfelt and faithful prayer of a righteous (not perfect) person has the power to change outcomes and produce wonderful results.
Though we said our goodbyes the night before, my daughter and son-in-love did not leave for their new home until yesterday. She cried. I cried. But then something wonderful happened, it is called peace. It seemed to come out of nowhere flooding my heart and mind. When I shared with others their progress, a tear or two might come but the floodgates were now closed. (Thank God!) As the day progressed they journeyed farther and farther from home, I could feel the Presence of God settling around me. He was holding me with His Promises and I was clinging by faith to the hope that I have. It was not my own strength that allowed me to do so in those moments of despair but faithful people who lifted us up to the Throne Room of God for assistance. If you cannot do a single thing to change another person’s situation or help them through hardship, you can pray. Pray. Please pray. Someone is depending on you!
Daniel 9:22-23 (NLT)
He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.
The moment that you begin to pray a command is given. Why? Because you and I are very precious to God just like Daniel was. What if the only reason someone gives up today is that we did not have enough confidence in God’s Love and Faithfulness to pray for them? If we could see ourselves as the Lord sees us, we would have no doubt that we are loved. The angel came to give Daniel insight and understanding from Heaven. This is critical in our faith and building confident hope in the Lord. When we pray, God hears us and sends a command. Imagine the impact when a whole bunch of His Children ask for the same thing? Things would begin to change. Revival would break out as people began to understand just how precious we all are to the Lord!
Matthew 18:18-20 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
When our son was undergoing a life-threatening and life-saving bone marrow transplant, we spend many days and nights isolated in the hospital. Due to his condition and lack of immunity, the safest protocol was no visitors. The enemy uses limited interaction such as they to make us think we are all alone when nothing could be further from the truth. One night our son went into crisis. It happened almost instantly. There was no way to call out for prayer. Suddenly, my phone buzzed with a text message. “How are things?” A good friend felt the Lord lay our son on someone’s heart and she reached out to me. Before the night was over, she and her sister would pray us through one of the roughest nights of the procedure with miraculous results. I couldn’t ask for prayer there was not time. At that moment, we had to make things happen in the natural to keep him safe. But the Lord laid us on the heart of another believer who took the time to reach out.
It happens all the time and maybe you discredit it. Someone falls into your thoughts and will not seem to leave. You don’t know why you are thinking about them or why the sense of urgency. Do you pray for them? Please pray for them. God has sent you a message by His Spirit. That same Spirit living inside of you is the same one who lived in Jesus Christ. You have the power to release a command in Heaven just because you dared to ask God on behalf of another. Maybe you are thinking, I have no idea what they need. Call them. Text them. Reach out to them. If you cannot do so, then simply pray. God knows their every need and that is why He laid them on our hearts today. Our response of faith and power is to simply pray for them. Do not ever underestimate the power of your prayers no matter how small and insignificant you may think they are or silly you feel in saying them. God hears your voice. It moves His Hand every single time.
Romans 8:26-28 (NLT)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
What if I don’t know what to pray? Pray anyway. My husband and I were standing at the front of the church praying for those who came forward. Suddenly, a young woman who is new in her faith still finding her way came rushing forward. Grabbing our hands, she blurted out, “I want to pray for you.” She went on with her disclaimer that she did not know how to pray or what she felt an urgency to pray with us now. She continued with “I thought what the heck, I’ll just go with it.” She then bowed her head holding our hands tightly and prayed for us. Hot tears ran down my face at the sacrifice before us. Her willingness to obey God and step out into the unknown for us was overwhelming to me. Her words came pouring from her heart rather than her head and I will never forget that moment. I could almost feel the Lord smiling over us at His Precious Child.
We have the Holy Spirit who assists us when we do not know exactly how to pray for other people. Who better to assess the human heart and meet its every need than the One who created us all? Prayer is not an oppressive task but an amazing opportunity to experience the Power of God together. It has the potential to impact the life of the one who is faithful in praying as much as the recipients of these petitions.
Hosea 10:12 (NLT)
I said, “Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts for now is the time to seek the Lord that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”
Anything that we release to God by faith becomes seeds of righteousness. A believer who faithfully prays for others is constantly sowing into good and fertile ground. It is a Biblical promise that we will reap what we sow. Prayer is faith. When we release our faith whether it is for ourselves or one another, we are casting seed on the fertile ground of God’s Word. We do it because we believe that God will take these requests and make them a reality which becomes our harvest. The Word of God is clear. The farmer who plants only a few seeds will harvest a small crop. (2 Corinthians 9:6) Jesus came so that we could have an abundant life. We can obtain some of that harvest when we take the time and energy to life others to the Throne of God and makes requests for them. This means sometimes looking past our own need to see the lives of others. If they are on your heart today, friend there is a reason. God knows the meaning of their request. Even if we don’t, we can still reap the blessing and benefits of sowing seeds of righteousness through prayer.
Matthew 6:9-13 (NLT)
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
Still having trouble praying for someone else? Try this. Pray for God’s Will in their life. There is nothing better for them. Pray that every need in their life will be met from the abundance of Christ. Ask that their sins are forgiven. Forgive them if need be. Ask the Lord to strengthen them against temptation, rescue them from stumbling or falling and release them from the oppression of the enemy today. Another good place to start is that the fruit of His Spirit will grow up in their life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It doesn’t have to be long. It doesn’t have to be religious. Just be honest with the Lord today. We will reap the rewards of such time invested in the life of others in a greater proportion than we could ever give when we choose to pray for others every single day. Please pray!
Job 42:10 (NLT)
When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before!