Paul teaches us in 1 Timothy 2:1 that we are to pray for all men! As we begin to prayerwalk our neighborhoods and pray through our neighborhood directories, together we can pray for all men.
Pray for the sick
Publius was the chief of the island of Malta. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. In Acts 28:8 we read, “Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.”
James wrote the following familiar passage.
Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
We are only beginning to realize the power in prayer for healing the sick. Even medical doctors and professional people are beginning to see that prayer works to heal their patients. A recent test conducted by Dr. Randolph Byrd, a cardiologist at San Francisco General Hospital, reached the
following landmark conclusion:
A landmark scientific test of the power of prayer took place among nearly 400 heart patients at San Francisco General Hospital. All the patients received the same high level of treatment, but half of them were prayed for by various prayer groups in the community.
The doctors and hospital staff didn’t know which patients were being prayed for—in fact, none of the patients was even aware that the test was being conducted! Yet the patients who were prayed for did so much better than the others that they needed far fewer drugs—and none required emergency ventilator treatment. Twelve patients in the other group had to be placed on ventilators.
Dr. Randolph Byrd, the cardiologist who supervised the test, published his findings. “There are always studies done on ever new drugs and procedures,” he explained. “So I figured: Why not study prayer?”
Since Dr. Byrd’s pioneering work, another physician, Dr. Larry Dossey, has emerged as the champion of the power of prayer to heal. “I . . . regard it as one of the best-kept secrets in medical science,” says Dossey, former chief of staff at Medical City Dallas Hospital.
More and more physicians are prescribing prayer for their patients—right along with traditional therapies. In a recent poll conducted by MD Magazine, ninety-two of the one hundred thirty-three physicians polled—69 percent—now openly admit that they pray for their patients.
PRAY FOR YOUR CHURCH
- Pray for your church’s devotion to Christ.
- Pray for your church to experience a life of repentance before God.
- Pray that Jesus will be your church’s first love. (Read Exodus 20:1–7;
- Deuteronomy 6:4–5; Matthew 22:37–38; Revelation 2:4.)
- Pray that members of your church will maintain moral purity. (Read Revelation 2:20.)
- Pray that your church and the church’s leaders will know and obey God’s will. (Read Revelation 3:8.)
- Pray that the anointing of God (the manifested presence of the Holy Spirit) will rest upon your church. (Read Revelation 3:1.)
- Pray that your church will stand in faith. (Read Revelation 2:10; Ephesians 6:13.)
- Pray for your church’s protection.
- Ask God to expose and defeat the enemy in your church.
- Ask God for a restraining order against the enemy on behalf of your church.
- Pray that the laity of your church will be mobilized to ministry. (Read Ephesians 4:11–12.)
- Ask God to make your church a house of prayer. (Read Matthew 21:13.)
Beyond our prayer lists, we should listen to the voice of the Lord in prayer. The Holy Spirit will actually guide us to know what we are to pray. Jesus taught, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you” (John 16:13–14).
The Holy Spirit prays within us as well as for us. Paul wrote, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Rom. 8:26–27).
He prays along with us, literally completing our prayers! Those whom God has gifted with a personal language for prayer should utilize their gift, though not to the exclusion of praying with their understanding. Paul explained, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind” (1 Cor. 14:14–15, emphasis added).
Think about it:
Here are five hindrances we thought of. Which, if any, affect you?
- I don’t know what to pray for.
- My prayer list is too long to pray through.
- I can’t pray one hour.
- I sometimes think God will do whatever He wants—with or without prayer.
- I sometimes think it is too late to pray.
We learned that Jesus often prayed for Himself. What are some things you should be praying for yourself?
Praying for the lost is important. Which lost people are you praying will come to saving faith in Christ?
First Timothy 2:2 advises us to pray for those in authority over us. How will you pray for each of the following individuals?
- Your pastor
- Your nation’s president or prime minister
- The governor of your state
- The mayor of your city
- Your boss/teacher
For what five things should you begin praying for your church?
Your time with God
Sometimes prayer is difficult. What do you pray for? We’ve learned many ways to pray and for whom we should pray. Buy a journal, and make a list of the people and situations for which you will pray. If you don’t know, ask the Lord. He is a good Daddy, and He will begin to impress your mind with those for whom you should be praying.
Consider joining a prayer group where you can learn how to pray more effectively and develop your ability to hear His voice.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me the grace to overcome hurdles of not knowing for what or for whom I should pray. Please impress my heart with any assignment that You want me to take. Would You reveal Yourself to them? Keep these loved ones safe from harm, and open doors of blessing for each of them. I ask You to preserve Your purposes for their lives and show me any specific issues that I should pray for them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.