1 Thessalonians 1:2
“We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;”
People often ask me if there is anything they can do for me, to which I reply that the best thing they can do is to pray for me. I know this may sound like a shallow answer, but it is truly the best answer. The best thing you can do for anyone is to pray for them. When you pray for others, you are engaging the forces of Heaven on their behalf. What greater thing can you do for another?
Praying for another is certainly a great thing to do, but one may wonder how to pray for others. In the verse above, Paul said that he made mention of the church of Thessalonica in his prayers. In the next verse, Paul tells these people what he prayed about. I believe how Paul prayed for these people is a good start to how you can pray for others. Let me share some suggestions that may help you as you pray for others.
First, pray for their Christian faith. Paul remembered their “work of faith.” In other words, he remembered how hard they worked to grow in the LORD. One of the best ways you can pray for another is to ask the LORD to help them to continue to grow spiritually. Ask the LORD to help their faith to grow. Maybe the person you are praying for already seems to be a strong Christian, but you must remember that no matter how strong our faith may be, there is always room for more growth.
Second, pray for their ministry. Paul continued to talk about their “labour of love.” Every ministry is always a “labour of love.” When you pray for others, you should always ask the LORD to help them in whatever ministry they have. Ask the LORD to bless their efforts and to allow their ministry to grow. Ask the LORD to help those to whom they minister to be receptive and willing to follow what they are being taught. Anyone who is laboring in the ministry covets the prayer of others to ask God to intercede in the hearts of those to whom they minister.
Third, pray for them as they endure trials. Paul talked about their “patience of hope.” In other words, he understood these people were facing hard times. You never know how much your prayers will help others in their time of need. Ask the LORD to give them the strength they need to face their trials. Ask the LORD to help them not to quit in their trials. Ask the LORD to use their trials to make them a better person and to increase the influence of their ministry. You will never understand the strength that your prayers give to others until you are enduring trials yourself. Whatever you do, be sure to pray for others in their trials.
Fourth, pray for their testimony. In verse 7, Paul talked about these people being “ensamples” to those of Macedonia. When praying for others, ask the LORD to keep them from sin. The Devil is after anyone who is serving the LORD. We will never know until we get to Heaven how much the interceding prayers of others kept us from sin. My friend, one of the best things you can do for anyone is to pray that the LORD will keep them from falling into sin, and to keep them from the moment of temptation.
Praying for others should be a regular part of your prayer life. I believe these four things are a good start to help you as you pray for others. You may not be able to help others physically, but you can always help them by praying for them.