When people ask me how I am, I usually don’t want to go into detail. I have a friend who when asked, “How are you?” always replies, “How long do you have?”
As part of the body of Christ, however, it is important to share your physical, emotional and spiritual needs with fellow Christians so that they can pray for you. It is then their responsibility to actually go to the Lord and pray for their friends. Sometimes we go through the motions of saying, “I’ll pray for you,” but that isn’t enough. In true Christian love for our fellow believers it is our obligation to follow through.
Jesus taught us how to pray for one another when he gave the disciples His very own prayer as an example. During His crucifixion He took time to provide a son to take His place for His mother. He accepted the prayers of a remorseful sinner and guaranteed him a life in paradise. He asked for forgiveness for His enemies. He gave complete control over to His heavenly Father.
When we say, “I’ll pray for you,” we are making a solemn promise to do so. We should never just throw the words out there. Words without actions are really quite useless, but the prayers of believers hold great power. When our friends face illness, financial loss, the death of a loved one – when they are going through marital problems, having difficulty with a wayward child, coping with unemployment, depression, hopelessness or frustration – this is the time that our joint prayers are needed most.
God tells us to encourage each other through our prayers and thanksgiving. Friends are a precious commodity in this world of sadness. They can bring peace to our troubled daily lives. When you are part of a family, you don’t want your family members to suffer. It’s good for us to bear each others’ burdens.
John 13:35 says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Dear God, Your dear Son, Jesus, had only one thing in mind during His short time on earth – to bring total and free salvation from the snare of sin. Now, out of gratitude, I am completely confident that you will hear the prayers of your people. Be with my friends today and always as they face the trials of life. Let them know that there is peace in you no matter what their cares may be. Even though my list of prayer requests gets longer as I get older, I know that you will answer each of them in your wisdom and on your timeline.