Those that were left after the massacre led by Ishmael came to Jeremiah and asked him to pray to God what they should do, in Jeremiah 42. In Hebrews 7:25, we see Jesus is constantly interceding for us. Not only Him but the Holy Spirit intercedes when we don’t know what to say, Romans 8:26. We have the example of Jesus and the Holy Spirit interceding for us, as imitators of Christ, we should do the same. So who do we pray for?
A friend of mine will stop and pray for a person right then and there when they ask for prayer. When people bring their prayer request to you write them down so that you can continually pray for them. Unless you have the person’s permission to share the request don’t use it as gossip — (Name) needs prayer for (x,y, and z).
But do our prayers stop with just those we know or ask us to pray for them?
In 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul charges Timothy with two groups of people to pray for.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
When you come to think about it all people, very well covers everyone.
First, I want to talk about the last group to pray for all who are in high positions. It doesn’t matter if we agree or disagree with them we are to pray for them. God has placed them in the position they are in. It is a hard position to be in leadership and God requires more from them. Even if you don’t agree with how they are leading the country that is when you pray they are hearing God’s instructions and don’t bash the leaders. Look at Paul and many of the other apostles, what they went through with the leaders of their time. Here is what Paul said about those who are leaders in Romans 13:1-2,
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Let’s look at who else falls into all people…
One of the hardest groups to pray for is those who are your enemies or have done you wrong. It isn’t praying that God will heap all kinds of judgments on them. for in Matthew 5:44, we are told to love our enemies. What?!?! We have a great example in Jesus, a man who did no wrong, committed no crime, yet received the cruelest punishments, the Romans reserved for the worst criminals, which was the death on the cross. It was while Jesus was on the cross He prayed to ask God to forgive the Roman soldiers that were just following their orders. Orders which included, beating Him, a crown of thorns, forty lashes to the point His back was just ribbons of torn flesh, mocking Him. making Him carry His own cross, nailing Him to the cross and setting it upright, and then casting lots to see who would get his robe. All of that He was able to forgive while being in pain and suffering. It wasn’t enough that He forgave them Jesus wanted the Father to forgive them too. Surely, if He could forgive all that and more, we can forgive our enemies.
Not only do need to pray for those that persecute us but for those that are also being persecuted. Recently, an American pastor that Turkey was holding because he was a Christian was released and returned to America. Others all over the globe are in prison just because they are Christians, need our support. The best type of support prayer.
What about the Christian’s you don’t know? You hear about something that happened at a church which could shake its members’faith. It might be a shooting, the pastor was arrested, whatever happened, the members of the church needs our support in prayer.
As we can see in verses 3-4 of 1 Timothy 2, The main reason we are to pray for all people is for them to come to a saving knowledge of the truth. Doesn’t matter if we know them, if they live in the neighborhood, state, or country, we need to be praying for all people to believe in God.
This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.