Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- August 26, 2010
“And the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:9 b, 10
Friends snared by sin need our prayers not our prognosis. God’s part is conviction and life change, while our part is prayer. That is not to say there isn’t a time and place to confront a believer in disobedience. However we are not the judge—God is. Other centered praying is freeing for both the person praying and for the person being prayed for. As we pray for others we are freed from preoccupation with our own problems.
Indeed, the severity of another’s needs tend to dwarf our own. It is through the posture of praying for another that our perspective becomes healthier. Our gratitude grows through selfless prayer. We learn to count our many blessings and to be content. Of course it is ok to ask for God’s favor on our life, but not at the expense of excluding our prayer for others.
“Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant” (Genesis 25:21).
Authentic Christianity results in love for people. Is prayer a meaningful way to love? Of course, and the greatest test may be to pray for those who do not pray for you. This is truly unselfish praying. Your only reward may be a clear conscience before God. Pray for your adversaries and trust the Lord to accomplish His purpose in their life, in His time. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).
An exciting part of praying for others is the change you experience. Praying for other people cultivates an attitude of love and forgiveness in the person praying that no human counselor can provide. Godly counsel can guide you there, but only God can produce transformation of the heart. Prayer places you face to face with your Heavenly Father.
Talk with God often about the needs of others, but be careful in that you may become an answer to your own prayer. Pray for a friend in financial need and the Lord may lead you to assist. Pray for a relative whose heart is hard and God may lead you to soften them with kindness. Pray for a child who has lost a parent and you may become their parent. Pray for the leadership needs at the church and by faith you may step into that leadership role. Be keenly aware of what you pray, as you may become the answer to your own prayer.
Most importantly, pray for those outside of the faith in Christ. You can pray this boldly knowing it is God’s will. Pray God will use you, circumstances, and other believers, to draw another to Him. A stubborn heart is no match for prayer. Satan’s deception is no match for prayer. Prayer can travel behind enemy lines and accomplish more in a moment than a lifetime of worry and work. Pray for sinners to be saved and glorify God.
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved” (Romans 10:1).
How can I regularly pray for family, friends and foes for their needs to be met in Christ?
Related Readings: Exodus 8:8-9; 1 Kings 13:6; 2 Corinthians 13:7-9; Ephesians 1:15-23
Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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