May 3, 2018
READ: Eph. 1:16-19; 6:19-20
We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly (1 Thessalonians 1:2).
When I was fourteen, with the help of a friend’s dad, my friends and I started a worship band. Before practice each week, we would gather in a circle and read a chapter of the Bible, then go around the circle sharing prayer requests and praises. We each took time to pray out loud for the person sitting next to us. This not only helped us get to know one another better, but allowed us to support and encourage one other through difficult times. It also helped us celebrate in praise together.
The apostle Paul stressed the importance of prayer throughout many of his letters. But he didn’t just tell people to pray and why, he applied what he said. He wrote in the book of Ephesians, “I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God” (1:16-17).
Paul understood that he needed prayer too. At the end of his letters, he frequently asked those receiving the letter to pray for him. In the book of Romans, for example, he wrote, “Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit” (15:30).
Praying together can be difficult, because it takes humility and vulnerability to open up about our need for prayer—especially in tough situations. It can also take courage to pray out loud for others. But prayer helps believers unify as the body of Christ, share each other’s burdens, encourage one another and celebrate together. Who might God be leading you to pray with?
365-day plan: Esther 2:1-23
Read James 5:13-18 and reflect on the truth that “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results”.
Why is it so vital for you to regularly pray with other believers? How can praying with others become a more central part of your life?