Recently, I have been intrigued by a prayer of Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. ?I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.? (Ephesians 1:16)
When you pray for someone, do you focus on their faults and ask God to change them or do you intercede on their behalf? I tend to focus on another person?s needs and pray for them, which is a good thing. We have not if we ask not.
When we begin praying we should spend time giving thanks for that person. It is then that we will see how their qualities and talents have influenced our lives. I have known people who have had problems with another person until they started to pray for them. Somehow their attitude began to change.
I came across a passage from the book ?Our Daily Bread,? that I would like to share with you. It is as follows:
?In 1892, John Hyde boarded a ship in New York harbor and set out for India. His goal was to proclaim the gospel to people who had not heard about Jesus. During the next 20 years, he earned the nickname ?Praying Hyde? because he often spent hours and even many days in prayer for the salvation of known believers and the revival of Christ?s followers.
On one occasion, Hyde was upset about the spiritual coldness of a pastor, so he began to pray, ?O Father. You know how cold ...? But it was as if a finger stopped his lips from uttering the man?s name.
Hyde was horrified when he realized that he had judged the man harshly. He confessed his critical spirit and then determined not to focus on the short comings of others but to see them as individuals whom God loves. Hyde asked the Lord to show him things that were of good report in the pastor?s life and he praised God for the man?s virtues. Hyde learned later that during this exact time the pastor?s spiritual life was revitalized.?
Yes, it is good for us to intercede for someone else, but let us remember to always begin by giving thanks for that person.
James 5:16 says, ?Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.?