I was all prepared to post something else.
Then yesterday I received a prayer request from a friend – actually a series of requests for various individuals with various needs. There is a group of us, some known and others unknown, who somewhat regularly intercede for each other as well as for friends, family and acquaintances of each other. It’s powerful.
At the end of yesterday’s requests my friend wrote, “Pray for each other because that’s what friends are for.”
The Bible provides many examples of individuals, including our Lord Jesus, praying and interceding for friends. We are even commanded to pray for our enemies.
Consider these Scriptures:
~ “The LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he prayed for his friends, and the LORD increased all that Job had twofold.” (Job 42:10)
~ “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” (Matthew 5:44)
~ “…bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6:28)
~ “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…” (Ephesians 6:18)
~ “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority…” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)
Do you pray for your friends? And your enemies?
In our church when individuals come forward at the invitation, our pastor asks us to commit to pray for them. He also says, “If you’re not going to pray for them, don’t say that you will.” Sounds a little harsh, but how often do we tell people that we will pray for them then in the next 15 minutes we’ve forgotten not only about them but about our promise to pray?
I remember participating in a Beth Moore study that included a live webcast. Beth shared a humorous story about her mother praying for her. She said that her mother would pray petitioning the Lord for Wanda Elizabeth Green Moore who lived on _Blank _ Street in _Blank _ City. She said that she laughed and told her mother that she was sure the Lord knew who she was, but her mom was insistent that she didn’t want any mix-ups.
Hey, laugh if you want, but that is how we ought to pray for our friends and our enemies. When we ask the Lord to “bless” our friends (or enemies), well, He already did. If they woke up, they were blessed. If they had food, they were blessed. If they were able to walk, they were blessed. Praying for the Lord to “bless” seems somewhat banal to me. I like being able to clearly document when a prayer has been answered. (Yes, I often write my prayers and I write and date the answers.) In seasons when the Lord seems quiet, I am encouraged when I read past prayers AND answers. I like reading what the Lord did in the lives of Joseph and Abraham and David and Daniel…, but I LOVE reading what He has done in Debbie’s life!
Clearly, specifically, passionately, persistently, pray for your friends and enemies.
That’s what friends are for!
ps Remember this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdHFElOHQzs