When Abby was a sophomore in high school, she and her mom heard a news story about a young man who’d been critically injured in a plane accident—an accident that took the lives of his father and stepmother. Although they didn’t know this person, Abby’s mom said, “We just need to pray for him and his family.” And they did.
Fast forward a few years, and one day Abby walked into a class at her university. A student offered her the seat next to him. That student was Austin Hatch, the plane crash victim Abby had prayed for. Soon they were dating, and in 2018 they were married.
“It’s crazy to think that I was praying for my future husband,” Abby said in an interview shortly before they were married. It can be easy to limit our prayers to our own personal needs and for those closest to us, without taking the time to pray for others. However, Paul, writing to the Christians at Ephesus, told them to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people” (Ephesians 6:18). And 1 Timothy 2:1 tells us to pray “for all people,” including those in authority.
Let’s pray for others—even people we don’t know. It’s one of the ways we can “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
Who are the people—some you may not even know personally—who need your prayers today? How will you carve out some time to talk with God about their needs?
Unlike many of Paul’s letters, Ephesians isn’t directed at any particular heresy. Instead, the letter emphasizes Paul’s longing for the Ephesian believers to grasp the high calling God has for the church (1:18–23; 3:16–19). Through their union with Christ through the Spirit, believers experience reconciliation with God and each other (2:14–19), a miraculous unity that foreshadows the unity God is bringing “to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (1:10; see 4:13).
But being faithful to this radically countercultural calling does not come naturally, so Paul repeatedly urges believers to deepen their roots in Christ’s love (3:16–19) so they can resist the destructive lifestyles around them (6:17–19). To truly witness God’s reign, the church, with the courage and discipline of soldiers, must cultivate practices of justice, peacemaking, and an unwavering commitment to the truth through the power of Christ’s Spirit (6:10–18).