How is your prayer life? We are good at praying for each other. We usually pray for those that are close to us, those people that we know that are having problems in their lives, and for our church family. We pray for those people because they have meaning in our lives. The people we don’t pray for are the ones that we pass by on the street, the ones that check out our groceries, the people we don’t know, and we don’t pray for the non-believers.
It got me to thinking about who to pray for, what to pray for, when to pray, and where to pray. Out of the 34 years I have been attending church, I can only remember two people asking for prayers for a non-believer. So, what are the answers to the questions I have posed?
Who are we supposed to pray for? I thought we would get an “A” for that category. Just look at our prayer list. We are supposed to pray for them. We do a great job praying for those people. But let us look at some scripture verses that tell us who to pray for. Matthew 5:43-45 says, “43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Luke 6:27-28 says, “27 But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” We are given a clear command of who we are to pray for.
What are we to pray for? 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Acts 8:22 says, “22 Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.” This shows us that we are to pray for those that are not yet believers. We are to pray for those that are Christians and those that aren’t Christians.
When are we to pray? Luke 21:36 tells us, “36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” We are to be in constant prayer. We are to keep our eyes and ears open for our call to prayer. It might be in a grocery store or at the bank or at your place of work. Somebody, somewhere needs prayer this very second.
Where do we pray? Acts 10:9 says, “9 About noon the next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.” 1 Timothy 2:8 says, “8 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.” Does this mean we are to go on top of our roof to pray? Not by any means. We are to pray where we are not going to be distracted. Our focus and attention can be on God and not of the world. We take ourselves away from distractions and concentrate on what is important. We are also to pray everywhere we can. I pray at my desk, in the house, in my car, at the altar, or where ever I am when I feel the need to pray.
We are called to go into the world and make disciples. That means we are to go to the unchurched and share God’s love with them. We are to pray for them. There is some very good ad-vice given to us in the scriptures about praying. Practice your prayer life every day. Amazing things can happen when we pray.
Grace and Peace,