How to Pray for Others and Ask for Protection
In our Quiet Time, after we look at who God is, commit our ways to Him, and accept His love and forgiveness, we find ourselves moved to pray for others. The Bible gives us a number of examples of prayers for others. Jesus prayed for His disciples in John 17. The Apostle Paul recorded some of his prayers for others. (See Page 7 of the CLASS 201 book.) So, let’s take a closer look at how to:
- PRAY FOR OTHERS
“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
Use Prayer Guide No. 3 on page 11 as a tool to help you think about who to pray for. You don’t have to pray for everyone on your list every day. You may choose to pray for certain people on certain days of the week.
Make a commitment to pray for those around you. Your friends, family and co-workers need your prayers. GNG needs your prayers as do people who are far from God. We will probably never know until we reach heaven the impact of our prayers for others. But, never forget:
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16 (NLT)
The last aspect of Jesus’ Model Prayer was:
- ASK GOD FOR SPIRITUAL PROTECTION
“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21 (NIV)
Jesus knew that a cross was in His future when He gave His Apostles the Model Prayer. He also knew that most of the remaining eleven Apostles would die violently as martyrs for the Good News. So when Jesus prayed, “… And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one,” He wasn’t asking for a pain free life. He knew His followers would face both temptation and persecution. Still today, Christians in various parts of the world suffer harassment, imprisonment, torture and martyrdom. So what does it mean to be delivered from the evil one? In my opinion, it means three things:
- To overcome the temptation to sin.
All Christians face this every day.
- To overcome the temptation to abandon Christ in the face of pressure or persecution.
All Christians face this, to a greater or lesser degree at some point in their lives.
I believe that every Christian each and every day must grapple with the Apostle Paul’s statement, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 (NIV). Does this statement describe me? Am I willing to do whatever it takes to overcome sin in my life? Is my life so centered around Christ, that I would remain committed to Him regardless of the consequences? Would I stand-up under pressure to deny the Good News? Would I remain committed to Christ if it meant suffering persecution?
These are hard questions. But remember, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us can empower us to overcome whatever we face. So take heart. “The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in this world.” I John 4:4 (NLT).
- And finally, to overcome death and hell when we enter into eternal life with Christ.
Jesus informed His Church to, “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 (NIV). Our faithfulness here on earth is the dress rehearsal for an eternity spent with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the angels, and Christ followers from every generation and location. As Christians we have to remember that this life is little more than a blip on the radar screen of eternity. And never forget:
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? … No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 (NLT)