8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him, we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
“Are people praying for me?”
That was one of the first questions a missionary asked his wife whenever she was allowed to visit him in prison. He had been falsely accused and incarcerated for his faith for two years. His life was frequently in danger because of the conditions and hostility in the prison, and believers around the world were earnestly operating for him. He wanted to be assured they wouldn’t stop because he believed God, was using the prayers in a powerful way.
Our prayers for others-especially those where are persecuted for their faith-are a vital gift. Paul makes this clear when he wrote the believers in Corinth about the hardships he faced during his missionary journey. He “was under great pressure,” so much that he “despaired life itself” (2 Corinthians 1:8). But then he told them God had delivered him and described the tool He’d used to do it: “We have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers” (VV.10-11 Emphasis Added).
God moves thought our prayers to accomplish great good in the lives of HIs people. One of the best ways to love others is to pray for them because thought our prayers we open the doors to the help only God can provide. When we pray for others, we love them in His strength. There’s none greater more loving than He.
How do you love others with your prayers? In what ways care you encourage prayers for those who are persecuted for their faith?
Loving and Almighty God, thank You for the amazing gift of prayer and the ways You move thought it. Please help me to pray faithfully for others today!