One of the greatest means of encouragement God has given us is prayer. Do you know someone who is hurting? Pray for them. Do you know someone who has lost a loved one? Pray for them. Do you know someone who has lost a job? Pray for them. Do you know someone going through a divorce? Pray for them. Do you know someone who is struggling with their faith or who has no faith? Pray for them. Actually, we are exhorted to pray for others often in the scriptures. No matter how far a relationship has deteriorated there is always hope if handled biblically. James tells us that there are two things necessary for healing; confession and prayer. He says in 5:16, “…confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” As a matter of fact Samuel thought that failure to pray for others was a sin. He said in 1 Samuel 12:23, “far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you.”

Prayer is really at the heart of every healthy relationship. Mutual prayer for each other, based on the honest sharing of personal needs, is one way we build up the body of Christ as a whole and each other especially.
Donald Grey Barnhouse wrote, “Never is a Christian more like Christ than when he is selflessly encompassing needy hearts with intercession, committing them to the Father’s love and grace. If we have been born again, we have been baptized into the intercession of Christ, and our lives must be ever-flowing fountains of prayer. This does not mean leaving the world for monastic contemplation. Rather, we pray without ceasing in the midst of the world. Our prayer may be no more than a quick glance toward God, but He sees and knows. In this way we live His life of love and service toward others.”

It has been argued that prayer for others should be the primary kind of prayer that we offer. Paul was instructing his young disciple, Timothy, in the essentials of ministry and He begins Chapter 2 of his first letter to Timothy with the phrase, “First of all.” It might mean “our highest priority.” The verse goes on to say, “…then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…” But we can’t miss the context of this verse. It must be understood in connection with what came at the end of chapter 1 about two men, Hymenaeus and Alexander who made a “shipwreck” of their faith. The implication is that prayer for them may have helped prevent that. How many times do others come to our mind, and yet we fail to pray for them.

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18