Prayer is communication between man and God. For the Christian, it is communication between him and God, the Heavenly Father. Prayer is the Christian talking to God, but it is also a dialogue because it is a two way communication. God can be speaking to us through His word; thus, it is important that while we pray to God, we must be ready and willing to listen to Him.
Prayer is a privilege that all Christians have and enjoy because of what Jesus has done on the cross for us. He has made it possible for us to gain access to God the Father. Jesus said “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Through Jesus we have forgiveness of sins and salvation and so we are welcome into the glorious presence of God who has re-created the relationship for us with Him.
One wonderful aspect of prayer is that not only do we have access to God; we are free to present or submit our requests to Him directly. The apostle Paul writes “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving , present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6). Praying to God for and on behalf of others is intercessory prayer. Christians should not neglect to pray for others, it should be both a joyful duty and desire for all believers to remember others who are in need.
In our Sunday Order of Service we have an item for Prayer of Intercession. It is the time when we humbly bring our prayers to our merciful God for the work of our various ministries in the LPPC community. Each Sunday we are reminded of the needs of our Youth ministry, our Ladies’ Fellowship, our CG ministry, our Sunday School etc. We know that there are groups of LP members who meet to pray and we thank the Lord for their zeal. They are truly the prayer warriors of the church.
We have many examples of the early Christians praying for one another for strength and encouragement and for growth and steadfastness in their faith. The apostle Paul in his letters, besides thanking and praising God, prays constantly for the church and also requests the church to pray for him, for his ministry that he may be given strength in his struggle to bring the gospel to all unbelievers. Just read Paul’s letters to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians and we will find his prayers for them.
The excellent example of an intercessory prayer is by the Lord Jesus Christ as he prays for Himself, for His disciples and for all believers. (John17).
Praying for one another is, therefore, an injunction to heed. When the person who is being prayed for knows that he is remembered in the prayers of fellow believers, he will certainly find encouragement and peace and be comforted in his heart.
On a personal note, I was much blessed with the knowledge of the fact that I was in the prayers of brothers and sisters in Christ when I was in hospital for a major surgery six months ago. While lying in the hospital bed for 11 days, my mobile phone was buzzing with WhatsApp messages from my CG members: “We are praying for you”… “We are praying for your speedy recovery”… “May the Lord grant you healing”. What a grateful feeling I had. Indeed, I had a speedy recovery and my wound healed well. There was no post operation complication. I thank all my CG members for their love and concern. I thank the Lord for answering the prayers of all who trust and have faith in Him. I was greatly comforted and thankful for the love and compassion of brothers and sisters in Christ.
To conclude, I quote here what a friend had sent me:
The nicest place to be is in someone’s thoughts
The safest place to be is in someone’s prayers
and The very best place to be is …in the hands of God.