Pastoral Perspectives

Praying for One Another!

In the Bible, God’s holy Word, we are instructed to encourage one another. (Hebrews 3:12-14 and Hebrews 10:24-25). To me, one of the best ways to encourage one another is to “pray for one another”. Why do we need to pray for one another? Where can praying for one another be visibly happened? How do we go about praying for one another? What can we pray for when we are praying for one another? These are questions which can be addressed in this pastoral perspective.

Firstly, the question is: “Why do we need to pray for one another?” We pray for one another so that we can encourage one another as I have mentioned earlier. It is to bring before God the needs of others, praying that God will keep them from falling away due to the deceitfulness of sins in their lives. It is to plead before the holy and righteous God to bestow mercies and grace upon them to deliver them from the perils of evils.

When you see something and do nothing about what you have seen, to me, that is being irresponsible! It is the same with prayer! It is our responsibility and privilege to pray for one another. This is what the Body of Christ is meant to be. Each member of the Body is not independent of each other but is dependent upon one another. We need each other for support and encouragement. That is where the “Praying for one Another” comes in! If we do not pray for one another, how then can we support one another? Prayer encourages each other’s heart and fortifies each other’s faith! You have a need and you share it. I have a need and I share it. We mutually encourage one another by bringing our needs as requests to our generous and gracious Heavenly Father God, knowing confidently that He will hear and answer us. We need to go beyond just praying but more than that, we need to enjoy communing with God and confiding in Him our earnest desire and delight.

Secondly, I would like to address this question: “Where can praying for one another be visibly happened?” This can happen in our small groups which we called: “Discipleship Groups.” When the Discipleship Group gathers, the group members can share their personal needs with one another and then, can break into groups of three or four to pray for one another. After such Praying Time together, it can be very refreshing and uplifting! The group members are relieved, realising that their needs are committed into the hands of their kind and loving Heavenly Father God. They are no longer worried over their problems and issues. They have cast all their cares upon Him who cares for them (1 Peter 5:6-7). God is the One who strengthens and sustains them.

Another place for this to take place is at the Church Prayer Meetings. In such a regular meeting, there will be a moment where they break into groups of three or four to share needs and pray for each other’s needs. When each one opens themselves up freely and gladly to share, there is spontaneity and thrill in praying for one another. No one feels intimidated by the other! All feel the warmth and the love of being together in the Body. The peace of Christ rules in the hearts of the people of God who gathers in prayers. Frankness and gratefulness are essential qualities within the Community of Faith. Transparency and authenticity are also prominent in such gathering of the believers in Christ.

The other place for praying for one another to be visibly happened is in a Christian family where the members of the family have their regular family altars (i.e. a place where they worship God with theologically-sound songs, share the precious Word of God together and pray for one another.) Each family member shares their concerns and then lifts these concerns up to the Almighty God in prayer.

Thirdly, when addressing this question: “How do we go about praying for one another?”, I am referring to the methods or means to carry out a task. Praying for one another can come in several forms. You can begin by focusing on a certain topic and then extend it further to cover related topics. When a group member shares about a personal struggle, the same related thing can be identified by the other group member who may then consider whether to open himself up to share it. It requires time and effort to interact and connect for such a matter in a small group of three or four people. It is always good to have at least one or two matured ones in each group when praying together. There must be mutual trust and love within the group. It is good to ascertain confidentiality in each Discipleship Group right from the start when they form the group.

When praying for one another, you can assign a starter and a finisher. The starter can begin praying simply and briefly for how he has been doing in his spiritual life whether he is able to meet God regularly in reading the Bible and praying to Him. The other group member can continue praying for the similar focus. If the group member decides to move to another focus, it is still fine. More importantly, it is to commit earnest requests to the Lord in prayer. Another group member may feel burden to pray for today’s teens and their challenges. The finisher will eventually bring the whole group to a round-up prayer.

Finally, what can we pray for when we are praying for one another? I would like to suggest a couple of topics for our consideration. We can pray for our spiritual lives. We can pray that we would not neglect the necessity and the importance of spending time alone with God. We can pray that we would genuinely confess our sins to God and determine, with God’s grace and helps, to turn from our sinful ways. We can pray that we will be considerate and thoughtful towards each other in the Community of Faith. We can pray that we will deliberately speak encouraging words to one another. We can pray that we would courageously share our faith with those who have not heard of our Living Saviour Jesus Christ. We can pray that we will be willing to reach out to the needy ones around us. We can pray that we would love one another and respect one another. We can pray that we would be sensitive to the needs of others and minister to their needs wisely. We can pray that we would make the effort to get to know people and love them as Christ Jesus has loved us.

By sharing all these, it is my earnest prayer that we would take seriously this concept of “Praying for One Another.” May God guide, help and inspire us! Amen.