When you pray for others, what are you typically praying about? Our prayer requests usually center around physical things like sickness, job situations, and financial struggles. These things matter and should be prayed about often. Paul said whatever causes us to be anxious should be taken to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6).
Have you ever payed attention to the prayers of Paul? He certainly prayed about such physical concerns, but Paul spoke often about the spiritual side of his prayers. For instance, he writes, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might” (Ephesians 1:16-19). How often do our prayers look like this?
Here is a challenge. Create a list of your brethren and then spend time each week praying about each person individually. Pray for their spiritual strength and their souls. While you may not know the specific issues they are facing, chances are they struggle with some of the same issues you do. Of course you can always pray for the things Paul prayed about. There is an old hymn that says, “I need the prayers of those who love me, I need the prayers of those who care.” What if every Christian spent time each week praying for each other?