Pray for one another
Are you carrying a heavy burden today? The truth is we all have heavy loads to carry from time to time in life… illness, depression, loneliness, heartache, loss, disappointment, weariness, discouragement… Life can get really heavy sometimes. But the great news for you is that you are not in this alone… there are people who want to come alongside you to help carry your burdens and to pray with and for you. Believers show love for one another when we pray for and carry burdens for one another.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
In an increasingly selfish world, where people are concerned mostly about themselves, their needs, their desires, their agendas, it is refreshing and inspiring to remember that as Believers, we are committed to caring for, praying for and carrying one another’s burdens! When we do that, we will make an impression and leave a mark for Jesus Christ in a world desperate for Him.
The Apostle Paul urges us to pray for all people. I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 1 Timothy 2:1. In this verse, Paul calls us to pray in four ways.
Four Types of Prayer
1. Prayer for specific needs… petitions.
When you pray, make it specific. This word “petition” means “to be without”, so it implies there is an unmet need; so ask God to meet that need. Do you have an unmet need in your life? Are there people around you who are in need? Will you pray specifically for that need to be met? Invite others to pray with you.
2. Prayer of adoration and confession… prayers.
With this general term for “prayer”, Paul is encouraging various forms of prayer which may include prayers of worship, adoration, praise and confession. When you pray, do you praise God for Who He is… mighty, powerful, gracious, good, loving, merciful… Do you acknowledge your own failure and sin and seek His gracious forgiveness?
3. Prayer on behalf of another… intercession.
The Greek word here means “to draw near so as to speak intimately.” That means that you have an empathetic, intimate understanding of the needs of people for whom you are praying. Are you getting to know people at a deeper level so that you can pray for them in this way? This is one reason life groups are so important because intercessory prayer can happen in that setting.
4. Prayer of gratitude… thanksgiving.
Sometimes we get so overwhelmed and bogged down with our concerns and needs that we forget or neglect to celebrate what God has done, is doing and will do in our lives! Our God deserves our gratitude! Are you thanking Him daily? Do you share with others what God is up to in your life? Gratitude is inspiring to others!
In James 5:14-16, we are given the ABC’s of praying for one another.
ASK - When you are in need, ask for prayer! (James 5:14)
When we are in need, James tells us to “call on” others to pray for us! There is nothing heroic about going through a life crisis or challenge alone. As believers, serve and support one another with prayer! If you have a need, reach out to our ministry team, life group leaders and me for prayer. We want to help you receive healing in any way you need… emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual.
BELIEVE - Pray in faith, yielded to God’s will. (James 5:15)
Pray believing that God can do what we can’t…. He offers healing in every way. As believers, we always pray for His will to be done. Sometimes God answers prayers in ways we may not expect, but we always pray faithfully, trusting that He knows best. (1 John 5:14)
CONFESS - If there is sin present in your life, confess and seek forgiveness (James 5:16).
Confess means “to be in agreement with”. Sin drives a wedge in relationships with God and with one another. If you have sinned, go to God first and seek forgiveness. If you have sinned against another, seek forgiveness from that one as well. Then, when you pray together, there is nothing that will cause your prayer to be weak and feeble; instead, it will be powerful and effective!
Finally, we serve one another by helping carry heavy burdens. (Galatians 6:2). This is more than offering to pray for someone. This is about helping a fellow believer through a difficult time. It is the picture of getting up under a heavy burden and helping shoulder the burden someone else is carrying. Is there anyone in your life you could come alongside and help shoulder a heavy load? Reach out to them today and offer to help!
For much more, click here to watch One Another - Part 4: Pray for one another.