This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:9
“Are people still 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 praying for him. He wanted to be assured they wouldn’t stop, because he believed God was using their prayers in a powerful way.
Our prayers for others—especially those who are persecuted for their faith—are a vital gift. Paul made this clear when he wrote the believers in Corinth about hardships he faced during his missionary journey. He “was under great pressure,” so much that he “despaired of 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 through 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 through our prayers we open the door to the help only God can provide. When we pray for others, we love them in His strength. There’s none greater or more loving than He.
How do you love others with your prayers? In what ways can you encourage prayer 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 through it. Please help me to pray faithfully for others today!
For help in your prayer life, read Jesus’ Blueprint for Prayer at DiscoverySeries.org/HJ891.
The apostle Paul clearly had an up-and-down relationship with the Corinthian believers. In the two letters to Corinth preserved in the Scriptures, he deals heavily in correction of their misconduct while responding to accusations against him and attacks on his position as an apostle. In spite of those conflicts, however, Paul opens 2 Corinthians with words of God’s encouragement for them (1:3–7). Later in the letter, he even speaks of how they’ve encouraged him in spite of his struggles with them! (7:13). Paul also shares the joy he felt when the church comforted Titus, who had been “refreshed” by them. Paul’s joy “was greater than ever” because of their longing, sorrow, and concern for him (vv. 7, 13). It’s encouraging to see how “the God of all comfort” (1:3) can use the most surprising vessels to bring His encouragement to us.