When is the last time you asked someone to pray for you? It’s really an intimate request because you’re asking someone to go to the Father on your behalf. You have revealed your vulnerabilities to another human. Because of what Jesus has done for us, we have privileged access to God. When we can pray for someone else in their time of need, it is the best thing we can do.
We may often wish we could help more or give more to our friends in need. Especially now during a time of pandemic when our hands are tied a bit in how much we can interact. When we remember how powerful prayer is, it’s easier to want to be the prayer warrior for all our friends and family.
Paul is not afraid to ask his congregation of believers for prayer. He is specific. I don’t know how many times my mother-in-law nearly jumps for joy when I give her a specific or tangible prayer request. She delights that she knows “how” to pray for me. Here, Paul is doing just that. Again, I’ll ask. When is the last time you asked for prayer?
Alternatively, when we know that someone may be in need of prayer, we can always assure them we will be praying for them. I have never offered to pray for someone only to be told, “no, don’t do that.” You’ll be surprised that even your non-believer friends will be open to your offer. I suppose they may even think, “just in case, it can’t hurt anything.”
I must say that I totally resonate with Paul’s ask here. I pray every day that my “message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes.” The messages in my reflections may be just that, “my” reflections, but it is always my prayer that perhaps you’re waiting for this exact message or know someone who might be. I feel such an honor and privilege that God is using me in this way every day to speak on his behalf.
What do you think Paul meant when he said this? “And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you.” What jumped out at me was the line, “confident in the Lord.” We all know how flawed we are as humans susceptible to sin. But we are always sure, with complete confidence, in the power and wisdom of the Lord. If we allow God to truly lead our lives, we (like Paul) can have confidence “in the Lord” to keep us true.
I love how Paul ends this passage with a prayer for his readers. “May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.” Isn’t that just beautiful? It’s so simple, yet so powerful. We should all be so lucky to have someone praying this prayer for us.
Take some time today to pray for a friend in need. If you are needing some comfort or direction in your own life, decide who you can reach out to and ask for prayer today. It might be fun to start a prayer journal to keep track of those you are praying for.
Let’s pray … Father God, thank you for giving me exactly what I need. Sometimes it’s not what I expect, and that’s okay. It’s always better. Help me to be a prayer warrior for my friends and family. Help me be better at taking Paul’s example and asking for prayer as well as offering to others. Thank you for the privilege of being able to come before you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.