By Michael Koontz
Pastor, Pine Ridge Baptist Church, Harriman
Praying for others is one of the greatest privileges we have as a Christian.
Recently we spoke about the spiritual discipline of prayer at our church. At the end of the service we gave out prayer Bible bookmarks that had several spots to list prayer requests. This was done to help us remember how important it is that we pray for others.
Let’s look at why we pray for others and what we can pray about for others.
One reason we pray for others is because of Jesus. I Corinthians 11:1 tells us that we are to be followers or imitators of Jesus. As He is our example of a perfect man, we should do as He did. In our text for this week, we see Jesus praying for others (John 17:11-16).
The Son of God spent much time in prayer for us. In the 90s, “WWJD” spread rapidly. It’s still a great phrase today to remind us to pause and think “what would Jesus do?” Jesus prayed for others and that is what we need to do as well.
Jesus prayed specifically for us. In John 17:11 Jesus asked for our protection. Evil was real in the world 2,000 years ago while Jesus ministered, and it is just as real today. How many Christians around the world will be killed this year because they profess Jesus as Savior and Lord?
Every Thursday morning, I go to an elementary school our church has adopted to pray with the principal, staff and teachers.
We always pray for the protection of the school because we know how real the threat is. We must pray for the protection of our church and its members. Pray for spiritual protection so that we can each one be a light in our communities.
Jesus prayed that we would be one (John 17:11, 21-23) — a unified body of believers. For us to be one, we must spend time together in fellowship. How often does your Sunday School class or small group get together outside of class time?
The best classes I have been a part of in my life had outings together and class fellowship in our homes. Those times allow us to build strong relationships to encourage and support each other. As we pray for and become more united, we are a stronger army for our Lord and we can have a great impact in our communities.
As Christians, we are not of the world (John 17:14) but have been sanctified by the truth (John 17:19). We must pray for each other to be a good example of what Jesus would do. The church should live in harmony and have authentic love for each other. The lost are watching us. If they see a church that is bitter towards one another or fighting, we are not being the light.
What happens on a muggy summer night when you turn on the front porch light? You have all kinds of visitors attracted to that light bulb! The light we shine will draw others to Jesus. Pray for one another to be the light. Love others to Jesus!