Why do we pray for each other? Do our prayers really affect anything? Yes, our prayers affect The Kingdom of Heaven, the church, the world, and each of us. Verse 1 reads,
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,”
Our prayers influence the church as we work toward making disciples. The workers are made bolder and The Spirit within us strengthens us and works through us because of our prayers for one another. The hearts of the people who we meet are softened, opened, or broken in preparation for the Word of The Lord. It was someone’s prayers which affected each of us and brought us to a place where we could meet, accept, and come to know Jesus.
We are told numerous times to pray for one another. We are one body, whether near or far from each other. Our prayers united us further. James 5:13-16 reads,
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Whether sick, sad, happy, or wavering the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ help us. Prayer in Jesus’ name is powerful. (John 14:12-14). Adding “in Jesus’ name” to the end of a prayer is not authoritative. Those words have no effect on the prayer. It is faith with Jesus’ authority for His will that makes the person righteous and the prayer formidable.
Prayer grows our faith and protects us from attacks of the enemy. Verses 2-3 read,
“and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.’
The devil is out to destroy our witness. He doesn’t want us glorifying Jesus and so he attacks those who are strong in The Lord. Once we’re weak he is thrilled. There is nothing for him to fear from a weak Christian. because Satan is afraid of us. That is one of his primary reasons for attacking us.. 1 Peter 5:6-11 reads,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
But our prayers for one another make us more aware of the spiritual warfare going on around us, and strengthen us, making the enemies attacks futile. Ephesians 6:14-20 says,
“Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Asking for prayer is not a weakness, it takes courage. Asking for prayer gives an opportunity to hear the Word of The Lord spoken through His servants, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Praying in The Spirit and in Truth is a weapon against the devil. That kind of prayer changes us individually and corporately. 1 Corinthians 14:14-19 says,
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying?17 For you may be giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not being built up. 18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.19 Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”
We should be praying privately, but we should also be praying together, out loud in The Spirit with plain language. Verses 4-5 read,
“And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. 5 May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”
Prayer as we commune with The Holy Spirit, who is so much more abundantly present when we are together and even when we are praying for each other although we are apart fortifies our walk, allows us to hear the Word of God, obey the Word of God, and follow His guidance. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-22 says,
“Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.”
Believer, do not think that prayer is a last resort when our efforts have come to no avail. Prayer is the first step, and present throughout every step of the Follower of Christ. It is a powerful tool, an authoritative weapon, and a light to us and the world. It keeps The Spirit’s fire hot in us and allows us to Glorify Jesus Christ.