THE GREAT MEN WHO PRAYED FOR OTHERS
What is lacking in the Church
today is not money or talented people but faithful people who will pray for
others. The divine mission of the Church is successfully completed not by
might, nor by power but by the Spirit (Zech 4:6). As Christians, we should
realize that we are responsible for the progress of the Church. But how can the
flame of revival be kindled? How can the Church be revitalised?
Only by the power of the Holy
Everyone should devote more time
to prayer. But you, my friends, must fortify yourselves in your most sacred
faith. Continue to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit (Jude 20, NEB). We should help in
the divine work through prayers. Ask God to open the door of the Word (Col 4:3), so that the true
word may be propagated worldwide.
Let us study several great men who
prayed for others.
In the Old Testament, Moses can be
regarded as the greatest faithful man who prayed for others. Although God
advised Moses not to pray for the Israelites, Moses still stood in the breach
before God and prayed for the Israelites that God would turn away His wrath
from destroying them (Ps 106:23). Had Moses not prayed for the Israelites out
of his profoundest love pleading, “but now, if thou wilt forgive their sin —
and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written”. (Ex
32:32), the Israelites would have been utterly annihilated.
The secret behind the victory of
the Israelites over the Amalekites at Rephidim was the fact that Moses held up
his hand in prayer (Ex 17:11). He prayed for them all day!
How earnest such a prayer was!
Praying for others is very
important as it brings about victory and salvation. We should spend more time
everyday kneeling in ardent prayer before the Lord for the weak brethren, for
the faith of our family and for the salvation of mankind. This is good and
acceptable to God our Saviour (cf I Tim 2:1-4; Jas 5:14).
Samuel was a great prophet who
prayed for others. He prayed for King Saul. It came about when King Saul
rejected God, Samuel said, “Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should
sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the
good and the right way” (1 Sam 12:23).
Today the elders, deacons,
evangelists and the teachers should take up the responsibility of praying for
the members. At home, the parents should continually pray for the faith of
their children. They should follow the example set by Job who constantly prayed
for his children (Job 1:5).
Once there was a young lad who was
serving drinks in a little known town in Que-Moy. There he had his first taste
of alcohol. Before long, he was getting hooked on it. However, one day as his
mother was having her morning prayer, she saw in a vision her dear son drinking
away with his chums. Immediately she wrote a letter to him: “Have you begun the
bad habit of drinking?”
God’s eyes see all, He manifest
His power to help those who are honest with Him (2 Chron 16:9).
Having received his mother’s
tender words of love, the lad refrained from drinking. An old preacher once
said, “If the parents are to pray in tears for their children, the merciful
heavenly Father will never forsake their children.”
It is hoped that we may be like
the prophet Samuel, who prayed continually for the people.
Jeremiah was the prophet who
prayed in tears. He said, “My eyes are spent with weeping; my soul is in
tumult; my heart is poured out in grief because of the destruction of the
daughter of my people,.... my eyes flow with rivers of tears because of the
destruction of the daughter of my people. My eyes will flow without ceasing,
without respite …, O that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears,
that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!”
(Lam 2:11; 3:48-49; Jer 9:1).
He secretly wept and prayed to God
in tears for the Israelites who were proud, disobedient and rebellious towards
God (Jer 13:17; 14:17). From the experience of Jeremiah we understand that
earnest prayers for others are not in vain. Sometimes our prayers have quick
answers, some are answered eventually — Jeremiah’s prayers were answered only
after seventy years. Because of Jeremiah’s prayers for others, God promised; “I
will bring them back to this land.” May we all strive to pray for the divine
work of the Church.
Paul was another great man who
prayed for others, in the New Testament. One who does not make full use of his
time cannot become a prayerful man. And one who does not pray can never be able
to accomplish any work for God. Paul spent a lot of his time on his knees. He
prayed for all the churches and believers whom he continually mentioned in his
prayers. To the Roman believers, Paul wrote; “For God is my witness, whom I
serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention
you always in my prayers” (Rom 1:9).
To the Ephesians he wrote; “For
this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love
toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you
in my prayers” (Eph 1:15-16).
To the Philippians he wrote; “I
thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for
you all making my prayer with joy” (Phil 1:3-4). “And it is my prayer that your
love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you
may approve what is excellent, and may be pure and blameless for the day of
Christ, filled with the fruits of righteousness which come through Jesus
Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Phil 1:9—11).
He prayed unceasingly for the
Colossian believers that they may he filled with the knowledge of His will in
all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col
In leading the believers to embark
on the sanctified path, Paul’s prayers have accomplished more than his preaching.
Thus he said; “For this reason, I bow my knees before my Father”.
A person who prays for others must
himself have a high degree of purity, the right motives, zeal and spiritual
wisdom. Moreover, he must lead a life of dedication and self-sacrifice. Even
Jesus, God incarnate Himself, prayed for others. Peter knew how to repent and
resist the devil; he was able to regain strength to become a pillar of the
church because the Lord prayed for him (Lk 22:31-32). Being the Eternal Father
Himself, He still relied on the power of prayer. What more mortals like you and
You may not be endowed with the
gift of speaking. You may not even be up and about meeting people and
proclaiming the Good News. But you can he a Man of
Prayer. In your own unique yet scriptural way, you can contribute to the growth
of the Church —simply through your sincere prayers for others.