A lady came to our prayer group with deep needs. She had been abused as a child and had suffered through a difficult marriage. As we wept before the Lord for her, the Spirit said to me, "I'm so glad you're doing this. Now I can do what I want to do."
Our prayers open up possibilities for others that they would not have if we had not prayed. We are, indeed, our brother's keeper.
Samuel recognized that he sinned against the Lord if he did not pray for others. "As for me, I will certainly not sin against the LORD by ending my prayers for you" (1 Samuel 12:23 NLT). Our prayers are vital to Jesus' activity.
So we pray for others out of love for Jesus. He wants to bless, to send truth to those in darkness, to encourage the discouraged. We please Him and give Him joy when we give Him access to hearts by bringing their names to Him. Wesley Duewel said he didn't think we are ever more precious to Jesus than when we are praying for the unsaved.
Dick Eastman tells of a Sunday School teacher who helped bring many students to Christ. After her death, her diary was found to contain such resolutions such as: "resolved to pray for each scholar by name;" "resolved to wrestle for each by name and expect an answer."
When we commit to daily bring names to the Lord, our prayers are powerful. Our feeling of responsibility and love will deepen as we pray. God doesn't entrust those who scarcely pray with a prayer burden, but if we regularly come to Him with specific requests, He'll see us as ones He can bless with a deepening concern for those we love.
Jesus, help me to pray with compassion so that You can accomplish Your will in others today.
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers" (1 Thessalonians 1:2).