DISCLAIMER: This post is primarily directed towards people believing in the power of prayer. Please keep comments respectful, whether or not you believe or not, or they will be deleted. Thank you.
In another post, I discussed why prayer is so vital to our spiritual lives. Here I am going to discuss specifically why we should make sure our prayers are not only for our own needs and wishes, but others’ as well.
So, the question begs asking: Why should we pray for others, especially if we have a lot of things we need? Here’s why:
- Praying for others deepens our interpersonal relationships.-When you pray for others, it requires emotional energy and investment in the person who you are praying. Even the very act of asking someone if they need prayer, may invite them to share an emotionally deep area in their lives that they may or may not have yet shared with others, but when you are willing to make an emotional investment in them, it opens the way not only for a deeper relationship with said person you’re investing, but it also shows that you care about them.
- It teaches us to be other-centered, rather than self-centered. -Praying for others effectively requires you to take your eyes off yourself and onto them! It requires depending on Someone (i.e. God) other than yourself to help the other person you’re praying for. It makes you realize that there are more needs than just yours in the world.
- Praying for others changes our attitude (to a more positive one) towards people we pray for that may be different from us or difficult to deal with sometimes.-(My story): This is certainly true in my life. I held anger, bitterness, irritability and resentment inside for this person. One day though, someone in my church suggested that I pray for this person, asking God to bless them, etc…So, I did. It wasn’t easy, but, lo and behold, I found myself being able to forgive this person for the pain and hurt they had caused me within a few days of praying. Recently, I was angry at this person again, but God answered my prayers. I had asked God to soften their heart towards Him (God) and others, and this person seemed nicer and more patient with me these past few days. Not only did God answer that prayer, God changed me to have a better attitude towards this person.
- Prayer changes lives.-Praying for others, especially for them to know God’s love and hope, can be exhausting and seem unfrutiful, but if we are persistent, that prayer can change their life! I have heard people’s eternities and day-to-day lives changed, just because someone prayed for them! Also, any time God answers a prayer that you made on behalf of another person, the person will see God working in their lives, and by praying for them, you will have helped them know God better!