I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 1 Timothy 2:1 NLT
I am challenged by that word all. All means all, all the time and I must confess that I don’t always pray for all people. I do pray for people, but there are many people who do not make my prayer list. There are people who need prayers that I do not know about or feel led to pray for. There are people who are not close to me that I don’t pray for. There are people who I am not led to pray for at all, but yet, Paul urges us, the Church, to pray for all people. So, how do we reconcile what we do with what we should be doing?
Be Willing to Pray for All People
First of all, we should never exclude anyone from our prayers. No matter who it is, all people need prayer. We should not discriminate against anyone with our prayers. Whether they be people we like or not, we should be willing to pray for them. Whether we personally know them or not, we should be willing to pray for them. Whether they are people we agree with or not, we should be willing to pray for them. Anyone whom the Lord nudges you to pray for, you should pray for them. How then should we pray for them?
I like the way Paul prayed for the church. Read his prayers in Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians. It would be a wonderful way to pray for one another. Paul tells Timothy to plead for God’s mercy on them. We should always want others to know the Lord and grow in Him. It takes a lot of mercy on God’s part to help people. Pray that the Lord will be merciful and withhold the judgment that they deserve and reach out to them in grace and love. Pray that others will respond positively to God’s love and mercy.
Pray with a Thankful Heart
And, as you plead with God on the behalf of others, do it with a thankful heart. Be thankful for your own salvation and the work of the Spirit within you. Be thankful for the opportunities God gives you to play a part in the soul development of others.
Thank the Lord for those who respond to God and let Him have control of their lives. Thank the Lord always for His goodness and favor on man. Thank Him for His mercy and love for all. Thank Him for the opportunities He gives to us to partner with Him in the salvation of souls.
Your prayer for someone today may be the key that unlocks the door to their heart for Jesus to come in. Will you pray for all?