So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.2 Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT)
How often do you pray for others? Is it when people ask for prayer? Maybe it’s during a prayer meeting when others bring forward names. Perhaps you pray for others when an email comes out to pray for someone in particular. But, seriously, take stock. How often do you pray for others?
In the busyness of life, I can say that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of who I should be praying for. As a pastor, I get a lot of prayer requests (I’m not complaining, it is a blessing). Unfortunately, I’m not the most organized guy out there, so keeping all of the prayer requests straight is sometimes a challenge. But, by God’s mercy, I try to give it my best.
Here’s a struggle, however, that I’ve noticed – both in my life and in others. We pray for the person once, and then not again unless they seem to need more prayer. For example, Jimmy is heading in for surgery on his hip. His name comes up in a prayer meeting, or some other formal setting, so we pray for Jimmy. But, do we continue to pray for Jimmy when we’re not together? Do we continue to pray for his recovery and life after surgery? Is it an ongoing prayer, or is it kind of a one-and-done?
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Christians living in Thessalonica, states that we should “Keep on praying for you [others].” In other words, we should be praying constantly for others. I believe the principle here is that we need to pray for others whether we are in a meeting or not.
So, how do we do this? Well, begin with your church family. Grab a church/school directory and make it your prayer list. (Yes, you can put others on the list that aren’t church members. In fact, you should keep praying for the neighbors that aren’t on the church roster.) Divide it into sections where you pray for a certain number each day. If you know an issue they are dealing with, name it. If not, just ask God to bless them. When you reach the end, repeat.
No matter your method, just keep on praying.