As believers, we are commanded to pray for one another. It's also important for us to share our own burdens with other praying people, perhaps dozens of them, who with fervent prayer and obedience will lift us up in prayer to the throne of God during our times of need.
Ephesians 6:18 (NASB)
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Out of the love of Christ that is within us, most of us have promised to keep someone or a situation in our prayers in response to a prayer need they have shared with us. Also, we have probably all heard others promise to remember our own prayer concerns when they have said, "I'll keep you in my prayers," or, "I'll be praying for you."
Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
There are dedicated prayer warriors among us who are not only faithful, but who are eager to pray day after day, week after week and if necessary, year after year - for as long as needed because they believe God's promises and the power of prayer. They know that God will answer fervent, heartfelt prayers according to His Will. In short, true prayer warriors never give up.
Luke 18:1 (NASB)
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,
James 5:16 (NASB)
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
However, many times people will say they'll keep us in their prayers, but do they really do that? Are we ever guilty of not praying as we have promised? Sadly, I believe those promises are sometimes made in a casual manner, and lacking any sincerity. Oh, the need might get a brief mention in a prayer or two, but if the answers don't come quickly, or if they don't arrive in the manner expected, then, the promise to pray is often soon abandoned and forgotten. I certainly plead guilty to not always praying as promised.
1 Samuel 12:23a (KJV)
Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you:
I don't believe that God is as impressed with many prayers from large numbers of people as He is with the sincerity of a few dedicated prayer warriors praying in Jesus' name, humbly seeking His face for His intervention. God is not going to say, "It's great that you got 'X' number of people to pray for you, but if you only had a few more, then, the answer would have come more quickly." Scripture says that where two or three are gathered in His name, then, He is there among them, and whatsoever you ask in His Name, He will do it according to His Will.
Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
We must also understand that the power of our prayers won't be fully realized until we, ourselves, with a humble heart, bow down before Almighty God with our praise, thanksgiving, and petitions - asking forgiveness and totally surrendering to His Will for our lives.
When we're on our knees in humble submission to Him, seeking His face in prayer, and looking to Him for peace, comfort, strength, and guidance, He always tells us to wait on Him for He will never leave us. He promises that we are safe in the palm of His hand, He cares for us, He provides for our every need, and we must only trust Him - for He is in control and His Will must be done.
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Believers who have the honor and privilege of being asked to pray for the needs of others must do so as they have promised. It must be done with faithful diligence and regularity, and for as long as the prayer need exists. Falling short of that commitment is not only a disservice to the one asking for prayer, but more importantly, it's dishonoring to God by failing to trust Him and follow His commands.
We must realize that not every prayer will be answered in the way we might expect, nor will they always be answered within our desired timing. God's plan for our lives is always perfect, and we are told in Scripture that we must run the race that is set before us. We also know our journey will not always be smooth. The road we must travel will often have bumps, twists and turns along the way. However, when we keep the faith and seek the Lord in prayer and His Word for our leading, we will cross over the finish line - with victory in Jesus!
Praise God! Thank You for Your promises, Lord Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for answered prayers. Hallelujah! I give You all the honor and glory in Jesus' precious Name. Amen!
During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!
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