I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.
Aside from what is said in verse 2, “Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2:2 NLT), verse 1 urges all of us to pray for all people no matter what their status in life is. Pray for all.
As believers, we should pray, not only for our own needs, but for the needs of others. What is intercession? Intercession primarily denotes a “meeting with”, a conversation or petition rendered on the behalf of others. “Intercessory prayer,” then, is seeking the presence and audience of God in another’s stead. God is looking for intercessors so that He, through the prayers of His people, can complete His will for them. The Lord is looking for men and women today that are willing to enter into this ministry with Him. He has always sought people that would “stand in the gap” for others.
Prayer pleases God. Pretty simply put. Prayer is an action that pleases God. “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but He delights in the prayers of the upright.” (Proverbs 15:8 NLT) An action is something you set your mind to. It’s defined as, “an act of will”. So God delights when we act and pray.
Moses prayed for the Israelites. “Then, as before, I threw myself down before the Lord for forty days and nights. I ate no bread and drank no water because of the great sin you had committed by doing what the Lord hated, provoking him to anger.” (Deuteronomy 9:18 NLT)
Samuel prayed for Israel. “Then Samuel told them, “Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” (1 Samuel 7:5 NLT)
Jesus intercedes for believers. “Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” (Romans 8:34 NLT)
Even the Holy Spirit pleads for us. “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:26-27 NLT)
Friend, it seems like a simple thought. Pray for one another. But you know what sometimes happens? We can forget about the needs of others when we place our own needs first. Sometimes what we face is pretty serious and the struggles are real. But let me share with you what Jesus did. And I think Jesus is a pretty good example to follow. The Bible says this, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36 NKJV) Jesus saw the greater need. Jesus had compassion for the lowly and the needy. He is the greatest example of intercession.
So again, as Scripture instructs, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” Oh, yeah. One more point. We are to give thanks for those we pray for. Yes, give thanks for them. Why? Because in the grand plans for our lives and the lives of those we pray for, God has orchestrated us to cross paths. It was intentional and God has a purpose for it. So when you give thanks for those you pray for, you’re thanking God that He had you in their plan for their life and vice versa. Hallelujah!!!
Dear Lord, thank You for Your incredible grace and love. You Lord are our shining example of intercession and prayer. You set aside all things to minister to others. Thank You Lord that You gave Yourself for us. Lord, help us to see with Your eyes and hear with Your ears the needs of those around us. May we be obedient to Your Word and pray for others. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!