Sunday, February 22, 2009

In This 2009, We Will...(1)


Rose had leukemia. She knew she was different from the rest of her family members. She had her uncertainties and fears. She prayed every day. One would expect that her prayers would be “God heal me of this condition…”. But no. Her prayers were “God, bless my parents. Give them long life and prosperity. God bless my sisters. Make them fulfill their purpose on earth. God protect my brothers. May they always be protected and live according to your will. God bless my friends…”

Amazing, isn’t it. I wondered, if I was her, would I do same? My prayers would probably be focused on what I want for myself.

In This 2009, We Will Pray For Others.


What is Prayer?
http://eastonsbibledictionary.com/search--prayer
Prayer is communication with God. It is the interaction of the soul with God, not in reflection or meditation, but in direct address to Him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, blurted out or formal.

Prayer assumes a belief in the personality of God and His ability and willingness to hold communication with us.

Acceptable prayer must be sincere, offered with reverence and godly fear, in humility, with earnest petition, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that He will fulfill his word.

Some people feel inadequate because they lack experience and/or expertise in praying for others. Prayer need not be complicated or long and drawn out. It can be simple and to the point, just as a child would ask his father for something good. Consider how Moses prayed for Miriam’s healing from leprosy: “So Moses cried out to the LORD, "O God, please heal her!"” (Numbers 12:13 NIV). God answered the prayer and healed her after seven days [From Reference 4 below].

Why Pray for Others? Reasons and Benefits
Praying for others is same as intercession.
1. When we pray for others, we seize the opportunity to express God’s love to people.
Jesus tells us “You have heard that it has been said you shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy, but I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you, and persecute you” [Matthew 5: 43-44].

2. When we pray for others it releases the power of God into their lives. [James 4:2].

3. When we pray for others, it helps us build a build love for them, chases away envy, and cleanses our hearts of unforgiveness. It has a transforming power. You will find yourself caring for someone who hurt you, loving someone who abused you, and having a changed attitude towards someone you never thought you could cope with. You even show more love to people you love.

4. When we pray for others, it removes our focus off our circumstances. It helps us not to worry. Our Heavenly Father knows what we need so ultimately He will grant us the desires of our heart.

Should we pray for 1) people we assume are better off than we are and 2) People we assume are more in tune with God than we are?
Yes to 1, because you do not know what everyone needs or is going through despite their outward appearance.
And yes to 2, because even men of God need our prayers. Paul asked the Thessalonians, “Brethren, pray for us” [1 Thessalonians 5:25]

Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you [1 Samuel 12:23].

Let Brotherly Love Continue…

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, thank you that you hear my prayers and that I am counted as righteous in your sight through the blood of Jesus. Please give me the desire to pray for others and teach me how to pray in faith. Please show me who to pray for and the words to say for the person. Please also show me who I can connect with for prayer. Thank you, Father! I praise you now and forever, In Jesus Name, Amen.”
[Modified from prayer at http://www.porn-free.org/Devotions/devotion_intercession.htm]

References
1.People Need the Lord Part Four: Praying for Others http://www.lakeridgeumc.org/media/sermons/4-20-2008.pdf
2.What Intercession does for the pray-er http://net-burst.net/pray/benefits.htm
3.On Praying for others and ourselves http://www.quakersong.org/praying_for_others/
4.Intercession http://www.porn-free.org/Devotions/devotion_intercession.htm

35 comments:

Temite said...

I AM FURSTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT
Sis Rita, I dont pray but do you suppose meditating and hoping a lot counts?
It has to right?
XOXO
Have a brilliant week!

mike said...

very wow!! Thanks a lot for this post. nice 1

Rita said...

@ Temite: Prayer, Meditating and being Hopeful all have their indispensable benefits. They are meant to achieve different purposes. Neither replaces the other.
Have a great week my dear...

@Mike: Thank you too.

Writefreak said...

Thanks for this Rita...i especially love your second point. I have found that when i am hurt or upset at what a person does, the more i pray for them, the easier it becomes to forgive and see things from the other person's point of view.

David C Brown said...

"And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and much incense was given to him, that he might give efficacy to the prayers of all saints at the golden altar which was before the throne. Rev 8: 3" - I think that really refers to the Lord Jesus: He makes our prayers effective, while the rise to God for His pleasure.

~Sirius~ said...

For me, I've always found it easier to pray for other people rather than myself.

*Prayer need not be complicated or long and drawn out. It can be simple and to the point, just as a child would ask his father for something good.

Now this I can identify with. Not to say I don't pray at length, but I noticed my short abrupt prayers seem to be the ones that are responded to all the time.

And I believe it's because *it's sincere, offered with reverence and godly fear, in humility, with earnest petition, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will with Faith in God.

Caelestis Angelus! said...

Prayer is the key, that much i know because God has never failed me when i ask of him through prayers and supplication.

wordmerchant said...

Prayer can be very uplifling.., helps to take away the overhead clouds. Nice post

OluwaDee said...

Focusing on others when we pray helps us heal, esp if we are upset with them.

Howz things?

SECRET DIARY said...

Omo Oba, ki lo de? Na waaaaa ohhh.

* * *
Mii komment has bin safed, hand will be fiisible after di owner appruvaal.

Enkay said...

There was a time I was envious of a former colleague 'cos she got the job I thought I deserved. I knew it was wrong of me to envy her but i still wasn't able to stop myself until I spent some time in prayer for her.

At first it was grudgingly done , you know, one-liners, but after a few days of doing this I was amazed at the change in my attitude! It was like a miracle. I found that I even appreciated her the more.

No too long after, I got a job just as good too!

Vera Ezimora said...

I used to always do this thing where I'd only pray 4mally - by the side of my bed, on my knees. But not anymore. Now I pray anywhere, anytime, and anyhow. I just talk to Him like He's standing right there sometimes. People think when you're praying, you have to shout and quote every verse form the bible, but on the contrary, you just need 2 be sincere and humber. And full of faith, of course.

seye said...

Now,this is where I copy to my OneNote! Thank you so much for this.

Good Naija Girl said...

Thanks for this, Rita. I love praying for others, but generally speaking, I don't make enough time for prayer. I'm most motivated to pray for someone if I know they are going through a hard time but of course you don't always know so it's important in my view to pray for others any time you're praying for yourself and your nearest and dearest.

believer said...

Thank you for this encouragement on prayer. Prayer, the best antidote when my heart is going at a thousand miles a minute. Father give us the strength and grace to pray in Jesus name.

Sis Rita, thank you so much for all your encouraging comments at my space. God bless you as you have been a big blessing in blogville

ShonaVixen said...

I just realised I haven't been here for a while and I come to meet a great post once again!!!

doll said...

thanx for sharing

Olamild said...

I will continue to pray for others

Afrobabe said...

Apparently praying for someone makes ur own request easier to grant...lol...dont know why but when u stop concentrating on u then u can even see ur situation in a clearer light...

Geebee said...

Yes indeed. Praying for others works. It’s like the saying that ‘when you point a finger at someone, four others point back at you.’ Even our Lord, Jesus, while on the cross prayed for his captors and not for himself. I believe when we remember others in our prayers and thoughts, we evoke God’s mercy and favour and he in turn remembers us.

Rita said...

@Writefreak: - the 2nd point was not copy and paste, it was from experience…thank God you share a similar view about it

@David C Brown: Indeed Jesus (and His mighty name) gives efficacy to our prayers

@ ~Sirius~: I agree with you. It is not necessarily about the length, thank God, though it is worth it to spend long times communing with our Father

@Caelestis Angelus!: Guess what! There are some of my prayers that God did not answer me the way I wanted. And when I look back, I realize there were some hidden wicked motives in my heart or it was a prayer where the result was not the best for me.

@Wordmerchant: Thank you. Prayer can be very very uplifting, especially when you are at a tight corner :-)

@OluwaDee: It’s amazing how prayer does it…I am doing great. And you? How’s everything with you?

@SECRET DIARY: My dear, please can you help me translate?

@Enkay: This is a very encouraging testimony especially seeing the result later on. Thanks for sharing.

@Vera Ezimora: You’ve said the key words, what really matters in prayers. I like the sound of “I just talk to Him like He's standing right there sometimes….”

@Seye said: You are welcome...

Saved Girl said...

Oh my gosh, I can't believe I been missing out on such a lovely & encouraging blog. Thx for stopping by mine, and I definitely will be back to yours!

Rita said...

@Good Naija Girl: You are not alone in making enough time for prayer…now that’s a nice lesson to take, praying for others when praying for self, because we wont find it as difficult making time to pray for ourselves. Thank you.

@Believer: You know I have been learning a lot from your prayers. Thank you and God bless.

@ShonaVixen: Thank you…

@Doll: You’re most welcome…

@Olamild: And may you see the fruition of all your heart’s desires…

@Afrobabe: Hmmm, your comment is so full of wisdom, I don’t know why but the words “when u stop concentrating on u then u can even see ur situation in a clearer light...” kind of jumped at me. Thank you.

@Geebee: I like your analogy. It even helped me understand the post better. I think I have to take my praying for others rather seriously. And probably be more like Jesus :-)

Rita said...

@Saved Girl: You’re welcome. And I enjoyed myself at your blog.

Buttercup said...

I've been brought up to believe that intercessory prayer is very vital for a christian and i've lived by that ever since.

Thanx for sharing Rita!

ShawnDaVinci said...

Nice post...how different life would be if we all prayed a little harder and a little more often, and a little more effectively. Thanks for dropping a comment on my blog.

tobenna said...

My immediate response is....
Pray for others?
WHy?
I never pray for myself finish.
But your explanation is spot on.
Done well.

Artsville said...

I pray that God will grant bloggers the desires of their heart.

naija bloggers' awards said...

hey!
the 2009 Naija Bloggers' Awards have started!!
please click here to participate.

simplegal said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes, and for stopping by my blog Rita!

Nice post, and very inspirational blog!

Olufunke said...

I am learning to be more prayerful, pray with faith and pray more for others, even goign back to keeping a prayer book.
Thanks for this post!

JideSalu's Diary said...

Rita, or should it be Pastor Rita,
Excellent stuff. This has so much blessed me as I am certain it has lifted others.

Prayer for me is connecting with Daddy upstairs. He already knows before I know, so why waste time confused or sad.

Also, I have learnt to engage the Holy Spirit in every thing and I mean every thing, no matter how small.

Thanks for this post. Excellent stuff.

anonymous gal said...

Yes Job prayed for his friends.i love this

doug said...

I'm so incredibly late. Thanks for this. Its reminded me (yet again) of something I know I should be doing a lot of.

How are you?

The experiences of an achiever....... said...

Very nice stuvs...praying for others is indeed a very important part of christian growth! preach it Rita!!!..oh thanks for stopping by at mine.