He prayed for His Father’s glory in His atonement and in His enthronement to His Father’s right hand. He prayed that by these, He would give eternal life to all those given Him by His Father before the foundation of the world. He prayed for the people of God as the people equally belonging to the Father and the Son. He prayed that the many sons given Him by His Father would be brought to glory. He prayed they would be kept from evil and the evil one. He prayed that they would be sanctified by His work and by His word. He prayed that they who were one in electing love, who were one in adopting grace, who were one in His redeeming work, would be one in His sanctifying grace, one as His own body, and one with Him in glory. The Lord Jesus Christ prayed for the glory of His Father, His own glory in the salvation of His people, and the perfection of His people according to the purpose and promises of God His Father.
Moses interceded in prayer to God for Israel
Exodus 32:32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Exodus 33:13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people.
Exodus 34:9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance.
Paul prayed for God’s people
He prayed for his countrymen, Israel after the flesh. Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Paul prayed for all the saints, both those to whom he ministered who were present in his lifetime, and for the church over time (Ephesians 3:14-21). He comforts and encourages the saints with the knowledge that they are prayed for by Christ (Romans 8:27,34), prayed for by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:26), prayed for by him. In this he is an example for us to follow.
- He was earnest in prayer; he was not reluctant to pray for Christ’s sheep. It is proper that others know we are praying for them. This is to God’s glory. This is love. This is to their comfort.
- If Paul ministered the word to them, would he not also pray in their behalf towards God? Moses and Paul and indeed all the saints, follow the Lord Jesus in this, that they minister to one another and enter heaven in prayer for those they minister.
Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
Ephesians 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Philippians 1:4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
Colossians 1:3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
1 Thessalonians 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:
2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Philemon 1:4 I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers.
The Lord hears the prayers of His people
Psalms 34:17 The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Psalms 50:15 Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Christ teaches us to pray (Matthew 6:9-13)
To God as our Father. ‘Our Father:’ He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, and He is our Father, His adopted people by electing, predestining grace (Ephesians 1:3-5).
To God in the heavens. ‘Who art in heaven:’ He is in heaven ruling as sovereign, who does all things for His own glory, the glory of His Son and the good of His people.
To God whose name is holy: ‘Hallowed be Thy name:’ He is holy. His will and His work are only good. He only can be trusted. He only will do right. He will do right for His people.
To God whose kingdom is yet to come in its completion. ‘Thy kingdom come:’ The rule and reign of Christ with His people, to the praise and glory of the Father, will most certainly come according to His eternal will and promises. We are to pray to this end.
To God whose will is supreme, is only good, and is the only will that makes a difference. ‘Thy will be done:’ We pray for God’s will to be done, not ours. His will will be fulfilled. It is our desire. We are to pray for it.
To God who works all things on earth according to His will in heaven. ‘On earth as it is in heaven:’ God’s will is established in the very heavens, where none can alter, thwart, assault or speak against His purpose and work. What is done in heaven will be done on earth. This is our desire. This is our hope. This is our prayer.
To God who must and does provide all things for us. ‘Give us this day, our daily bread:’ We look to our Father at all times for all things. We deserve nothing, and we can do nothing unless He gives to us freely of His own, according to His good pleasure.
To God, sovereign in mercy and grace, our only Savior, in the Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Forgive us our debts:’ Knowing God’s holiness, knowing the plague of our own hearts, knowing our thoughts, motives and works, knowing our own helplessness to save ourselves, we stand in constant need of deliverance and cleansing from sin. We have an Advocate with the Father. He has instructed us so to pray. “For Thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great. (Psalm 25:11)”
‘As we forgive our debtors:’ Grace changes us. It teaches us we have offended much. It teaches us we have been forgiven much for Christ’s sake. It teaches us that God was in Christ, reconciling us to Himself. And it teaches us that if we have been forgiven much, we must be merciful and gracious and forgiving for Christ’s sake. This is where faith works itself out, in how we treat others. Lord, so make me to go in the path of Thy commandments and incline my heart to Thy testimonies (Psalm 119:35,36).
To God our Deliverer from evil. ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:’ “He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. (Luke 22:40)” God alone can convert this heart and keep me from evil. We are prone to evil as the sparks fly upwards (Job 5:7). There is none good but God. He only is good. If we are ever to be delivered from our evil nature and from the evil world and from the evil one (Satan), it must be by grace, all-sufficient grace, all-accomplishing grace in our all gracious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As Christ prayed His Father to glorify Himself in His atoning work to give eternal life to His people, both in their present possession by faith and in their future experience, so we pray that God our Father would take the things of Christ, would give to us the victory Christ earned, the righteousness He worked out, the payment for sin that He made and by these, deliver us from all iniquity!
‘For Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever, Amen.’ Worship Him, O ye His saints! (Revelation 4:10-11). He who reigns will fulfill His word. He will accomplish all His will. He will do all His pleasure. All things are of Him, through Him and to Him ( Romans 11:36). All things come of Him, are worked out by Him, and are done for His glory (Colossians 1:16). And He rules over all to subdue all enemies and redeem all of His sons, and bring all of them without fail to glory. Yet we are to pray for His glory to be done in our salvation! Lord, do as you have said (2 Samuel 7:25). Fulfill your everlasting covenant-will (Ezekiel 36:37). Take away all of our iniquity and receive us graciously (Hosea 14:2). You alone rule. Your will alone is good. Not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory (Psalm 115:1). None other would or could save us (Hosea 14:3). We will not trust in men. We will not trust in our works. We will not trust in anything from us, imagined or considered.
Our prayers are heard for Christ’s sake
We have boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19). We don’t enter physically in our present body, but we enter now by prayer, in faith, considering and depending on the gospel declared to us from the Word of God. This is the breath and life of a believer. It is all because of Christ. It is all for God’s glory. It is for our salvation according to the good and gracious will of God.
God’s preachers and God’s people ought to pray at all times
Everything we do in the service of our Lord, we can only do according to the will and by the strength of Christ. We are therefore to pray that His will be done and that we might have strength to do His will: That the word might be preached; that Christ be exalted; that His people be saved (see Acts 4:29-31)
Ministers of the word are to pray continually.
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Those to whom the word is ministered are to pray continually.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
We are to pray ‘in the Holy Ghost,’ that is, our prayers are to be according to the revealed truth of the gospel and we are to ask that we be moved to prayer, and be enabled to pray, and that our prayers be according to the will of God in all things, and that in all we do, the Spirit of God would give us to call upon the Lord, and look to Him and to do so without ceasing.
The saints are to pray for one another to be saved from their sins. What a mercy! That we would be exhorted to pray for those who sin, and that we who sin would be given the gift of others praying for us before the throne of grace!
1 John 5:16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.
Saints are to pray for one another in all of our troubles
Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
James 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Note: In Scripture, oil represents the Spirit of God. He brings to our remembrance all things the Lord Jesus has done for us. This is what the saints do for one another -- Malachi 3:16. Anointing the sick with oil was done in days of old. The important thing is that Christ is held up before us that we might believe Him. Sickness may be due to sin. This passage promises forgiveness. The saints ministry to one another, and bringing our troubles to one another for prayer, should never be neglected or taken lightly. Sickness humbles us. The word of Christ, through prayer, lifts us up.
When Paul departed from the Ephesians, he reminded them what he had told them and warned them of dangers to come. Before departing, he prayed with them all, no doubt that they would remember his words and be kept by faith in the grace of God.
Acts 20:35-36 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.
Paul, having given a comprehensive and detailed explanation of the gospel in the book of Romans, summarizes several things in a condensed manner in chapter 12, which the saints were to attend to with all diligence. Among them hope, patience and prayer.
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Husbands must respect and honor their wives, as Christ did His church. He loved and gave Himself for His own. As we are weak and He is the strong, so the wife is weaker in body than her husband, and husbands are to therefore give honor to their wives, though they are weaker, and live together with them, preferring their needs over their own, praying for them, serving them, and doing all things for them as unto the Lord. Husbands are heirs with their wives of the same grace of life in Christ. If husbands do not treat their wives with honor, if we dishonor them, if we fail to respect them, if we fail to hold them up in honor for the Lord’s sake, then our prayers will be hindered.
1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
We are to pray more earnestly, seeing that eternity is imminent.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
We are to pray for men in all stations of life, And that we might lead a peaceable life in godliness and honesty.
1 Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (Proverbs 30:7-9 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.)
Oh, that our great and gracious God and Savior would hear our prayers for Christ’s sake!
Psalms 54:2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
-- Rick Warta