When You Pray For Others

When You Pray For Others

When you pray for others. Jesus taught his followers to show care and compassion to others, which includes praying for them. It was a radical teaching then and applies today as well. Jesus taught us how to pray for others in Luke 11:1-13 and how it benefits us too.

When you pray for others. It helps you look beyond yourself.

Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him. (ESV, Luke 11:5)

Thinking about, caring, and praying for others doesn’t come naturally. But Jesus regularly demonstrated it in his life and taught his followers to do the same. And when we do, our own problems seem less pressing as we see them from a different perspective.

Notice the man in the story asking his neighbor for bread had none in his house. Why? Did he neglect going to the store or lacked the money to buy it? Did his guest showed up unexpectedly? And wasn’t a midnight run to the neighbor inconvenient for him too? Regardless, he was on a mission to see to his guest’s needs.

But then, isn’t that how many of life’s difficulties happen? Unexpectedly? And in this particular story, Jesus seems to be saying prayer is your first, urgent response. Not your last.

When you pray for others. Pray with bold persistence.

I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. (ESV, Luke 11:8)

The Greek word for “impudence” is anaidĕia, which means shameless audacity, shameless boldness, and persistence. When praying for others, we are to ask boldly with selfless motives and trust God for his answer.

You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (ESV, James 4:2-3)

We don’t know how prayer works or the reasons for God’s answers. But we know Jesus prayed regularly and tells us to do the same. Boldly and persistently. In other words, nag God with a determined sense of urgency.

Consider Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, just before his arrest and crucifixion. He knew his mission as the Son of God was to sacrifice himself on the cross for our sins. And yet, he asked God to spare him from it. If the Father had said “yes” and spared Jesus, there would be no hope for us today.

Prayer blesses you too.

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 

We often approach prayer as presenting our grocery list of wants to God. But it’s more than that. It connect us intimately with our Heavenly Father. To confess our sins, seek his will, and align our plans as participants in his divine plan. That’s why our prayers should reach beyond ourselves to a global level. Because the more you consider God’s world mission, the better you see your place in it.

Of course, it doesn’t mean our determined persistence eventually wears God down until he says “yes.” Prayer is one of the great mysteries of God we will never understand. He answers them according to His sovereign will, not ours. We pray because Jesus taught us to. Then trust God’s goodness and faithfulness to His promise. And share in the blessing when we see Him at work.

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. This blog is originally published here.

When God’s People Pray He Does Crazy, Amazing Things

When God’s People Pray He Does Crazy, Amazing Things

When God’s people pray He does crazy, amazing things, This was impressed on me when I attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Here’s my story.

When God’s people pray He does crazy, amazing things. Especially when we pray in agreement.

I was a first semester seminary student in a Survey of the New Testament class. The professor was about to start class with a prayer and asked if anyone had a prayer request. A woman raised her hand and requested prayer for a friend. Her friend was married to a man who graduated last year and they had moved to California to plant a church.

The woman said he turned down the opportunity to pastor an established church in Texas to follow this calling and didn’t even have support from the Home Mission Board or other parachurch organizations. His plan was simply to canvass neighborhoods, knock on doors, and build a church from the ground up.

So the woman asked us as followers of Christ and future ministry workers to pray. She didn’t say it, but it was written all over her face. The guy was crazy.

When God’s people pray He does crazy, amazing things. Especially when we follow His leading

I related to the guy and was living it myself. A midwestern boy from Cincinnati, Ohio who had traveled to Fort Worth, Texas to attend seminary. When I felt God calling me to ministry I met with my Southern Baptist church pastor who advised me that seminary was the appropriate step for me to take. Southern Seminary was just down the road in Louisville, Kentucky, but I sensed God leading me to Southwestern.

So here I was staying with the friend of a friend. An outsider in this foreign land of Texas where common wardrobe included cowboy boots and hats. And a new language that called long distance a “fur piece” and a crowd of people “Y’all.”

I think my family and friends thought I was a bit crazy too.

But I’ve learned since then that trusting God and exercising faith often appear that way. Just consider Joshua and the Israelites marching around the walls of Jericho for seven days and Gideon taking on a Midianite army of thousands with 300 men carrying torches and blowing trumpets.

What crazy ways to wage war!

Joshua and Gideon both probably felt a little foolish following God’s direction, but they obeyed anyway. And God amazingly delivered on His promise. If this man was truly following God’s will in this church plant, then I believed God would provide. So I joined with everyone else in the class and prayed for him.

When Christians pray God unleashes His power

It was several years later after I graduated from seminary and began working in church ministry that I heard about a growing church in California that was gaining attention in the Southern Baptist Convention. And the name of the pastor was the guy we prayed for in that seminary class.

The church he planted was thriving and growing like…well, crazy.

I was still in Texas and serving at a church too. Nothing sensational like his ministry, But he had followed God’s leading and so had I and that was the important thing. We both went beyond our comfort zone and responded to God in obedience.

I celebrated what God was doing in his ministry. And I smiled to myself as I remembered the distress in the woman’s voice in that seminary class sharing her prayer request.

I’m sure our class prayer was only one of thousands that was lifted up to God on his behalf.

And I remember how the professor smiled at the woman with love and wisdom. That said he also knew we served an Almighty God.

“What’s your friend’s name?” he asked.

“Her name is Kay,” the woman replied. “And her husband’s name is Rick Warren.”

In case you don’t know, Rick planted Saddleback Community Church in Lake Forest, California and later authored the best seller The Purpose Driven Life. He pastored Saddleback until he retired in 2022. Today it averages over 20,000 people in weekly attendance.

Crazy and amazing, right?

Chip Tudor is an author, blogger and professional writer. He publishes books, humorous Christian drama, and thought provoking blogs from a Christian worldview. Check out my Philippians Bible Study on amazon.

Taking For Granted What Others Pray For

Taking For Granted What Others Pray For

Folded hands on bible taking for granted

Are you taking for granted what others pray for?

My wife, Judy and I spent a weekend in Ohio Amish country. It was a chance to get away and renew. It also meant we spent time in shops looking at an endless array of decorative items, although I’m sure there would be significant disagreement on the appropriate range for the term “decorative.”  

I’ll admit it. I nearly cried while browsing a chocolate shop and looking at decorative items the owners hoped I would add to my purchase of edible treats.

There was a plaque that read: “What we take for granted, others are praying for.”  

Thoughts About Taking For Granted What Others Pray For

I think the reason the plaque hit me was that Judy and I had the opportunity to take a day off work, stay in a beautiful location, and shop for things we don’t need while eating chocolate that we pretend to need.

I take for granted an endless supply of clean water. Highspeed Internet. The ability to walk through stores. The relationship with a woman who loves me for who I am despite who we both wish I might become. My freedom to pursue and express my faith – although less so today than in the past.  

Somewhere in the world, probably not as far away as I might think, someone is praying for each of these things I take for granted. What are you taking for granted and how can you develop a pattern for identifying these items and expressing gratitude for each one?

Recognizing Your Larger World Will Lessen Taking For Granted What Others Pray For

How large is your world? My world is larger than it once was, but far smaller than it could be. Having traveled to Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, I’ve seen people who are praying for what I take for granted.  

But closer to home, I often think about the police department I partnered with as a consultant, where I became more aware that there are men and women who get up each day to deal with things I know little about. They protect my innocence by dealing with situations that, to me, are unimaginable.  

Do you know people who pray for what you take for granted? If not, you are probably insulated against recognizing what you take for granted. If everyone you know has clean water, highspeed Internet, mobility, reasonably healthy relationships, and freedom of religion, then you may not have been made aware that you are among a tiny percentage of humans who have all of these blessings and more.  

Gratefulness Will Lessen Taking For Granted What Others Pray For

I didn’t cry openly in the chocolate store. But I could have if I had allowed myself to think more deeply about people I’ve seen and known who pray for what I take for granted. In a world that emphasizes what we don’t and cannot have, let’s marvel and give thanks for what we do have.

Let’s recognize that we are blessed in ways we did not earn and do not deserve more than any other inhabitant of this planet. Yes, you worked hard, but you have a body and mind that function apart from disability. You earned that degree and that job. But you live in a world where you were able to move beyond survival to study and seek employment. And you made wise choices. But they were easier to make in a stable, relatively healthy environment.  

Get to know a person praying for what you take for granted. Share what you take for granted. Don’t despise the person who prays for what you take for granted. “Enlarge your world and love your neighbor.” Seems I’ve heard that somewhere before. It might even make a good plaque for Amish country.

About Julian Consulting

Dr. Stephen Julian is President of Julian Consulting, a firm specializing in team health, effective communication, and leadership development. He has worked with leaders and their teams for nearly 30 years in a variety of settings – including Africa, South and Central America.

https://www.julianconsulting.org

Join My E-mail List

And I’ll send you my article: Exaggerate to Make Your Presentations Funny. You’ll learn how to punch up your presentations with humor.