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Asking for prayers?

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 10:45 am
by crgfstr1
Is there any scripture that suggest that we should ask for others to pray for us? I see Christians do this and even pastors. Is there any scriptures to support it? Aren't we to deny ourselves? Isn't our goal to become selfless Love? How can we deny ourselves and then turn around and ask others to pray for us? Isn't that doing the exact opposite of what we are to do?

God wants that to be saved. I want all to be saved. Just like if a building were on fire shouldn't we want to be that last one out so that all are saved? On the other hand, if we aren't saved, how are we to help others find salvation and let them know it exists? If they don't have faith that there is a door to get out of the fire, shouldn't we stand just on the other side of the door and shout to others here it is? If we haven't found it shouldn't we seek the door but not ask others to make sure we find it first?

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:20 pm
by steve
I am not sure I understand what lies behind either of your two questions, but in answer to the first, I would provide these scripture:

Ephesians 6:18-19
praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel

Colossians 4:3
...meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains

1 Thessalonians 5:25
Brethren, pray for us.

2 Thessalonians 3:1
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you

Hebrews 13:18
Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 12:58 pm
by crgfstr1
Thank you. Yes Colossians 4:3 is a good example of what I was looking for. So it does certainly seem right to ask others to pray that God use us for His Kingdom. I however see people ask for prayers to pass a test, get back with their wife or girlfriend, etc. What prompted this was pastor asked for prayers for his wedding in a different forum. Nothing in the post was really negative except he was nervous. What scripture supports this type of request?

My mom had breast cancer surgery yesterday, my father has Alzheimer, my wife has her struggles, a friend's child has walking pneumonia, another friends mom likely dying of cancer, etc.. There is all kinds of evil and suffering in the world. Why should a pastor ask people to take time out of their lives to pray for their wedding when there are so many other things people could being praying about?

I read about another pastor whose child was very sick. The pastor got the entire church to pray for his son who was indeed healed. Then one of the members had a sick child. The pastor did not then treat it with the same intensity as they did their own child.

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 2:33 pm
by steve
I guess it is no more selfish to ask others to pray for one's concerns than it is to pray for them oneself. No one should be praying for anything that they doubt to be God's will (1 John 5:14). Yet, if someone thinks a certain thing to be God's will, and is willing to pray for it oneself, there is no reason that he/she should not encourage others to do the same. We are encouraged to commit every concern to God in prayer (Phil.4:6; 1 Pet.5:7). Your brothers and sisters are encouraged to help you bear your burdens (Gal.6:2)—which can often be done in few other ways other than in their prayers.

Asking for prayer is simply a way of acknowledging that one is depending upon God, rather than anything else, to resolve a daunting challenge.

It sounds as if you make a distinction between Paul's asking prayers for his ministry and our asking prayer for a sick child, a new job, the ability to pass a test, etc. In my view, a person should not be seeking a healing, or applying for a job, or attending a school unless they consider this to be the will of God for their lives, and, thus, a boon to the kingdom of God. "Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor.10:31).

There is reason to believe that corporate prayer has a potency to it that may exceed the prayers of an individual. This may be because persons more distant from a crisis might be able to bring more faith, or more objectivity, to their praying than do those who are closer to the situation. In any case, it would seem entirely appropriate to recruit as many warriors as possible into a particular battle being waged in prayer.

If the concern is that such requests may draw off prayer from other valid concerns, I have never felt that those who pray without ceasing would be hard-pressed to add another valid concern among the number already occupying their concerns.

It sounds that you may be resenting the fact that the pastor has the opportunity to present his personal prayer concerns to the congregation, while more obscure members of the church, who have equally valid concerns, have less opportunity to present them to their fellow Christians for corporate prayer. This may be true, though it probably is simply the case that not everyone has the same visibility in the church—a circumstance that probably cannot be avoided. I should think that prayer meetings exist, in most churches of any value, in which the average church member can share his/her concerns for corporate prayer.

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 3:48 pm
by crgfstr1
Thank you that is well thought out. Yes, there were two concerns. One is that pastors need to use care that they aren't "playing favorites". Surely isn't that being a worker of inequity?

In the bible I can not think of any prayers where someone prayed for things that weren't already known to be God's will. God wants all to be saved, so we can pray that all are saved. God wants the world to be free from sin so we can pray for the sick to heal because no one would be sick if sin hadn't entered the world. So for things where we already have been told it is God's will I see that it is good to pray. Our concerns are of course to be prayed for, but should it go beyond praying that we become one who is no longer concerned. Pray that we aren't afraid sure. Pray that God takes the fear away. Whether He to do so by removing the thing I am afraid of or simply making me not afraid, shouldn't that be up to Him? Do I know better than God which is more important. Whether I need to change and have peace in my current circumstances or whether my circumstances need to change for me to find peace, doesn't God know better than I which I need? Wouldn't it be foolish to bind His hands?

To pray for a job might mean that God would need to change someone's free will (if we have it).

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:17 am
by steve
When we pray, we do not bind God's hands. Prayers are petitions to a King. It is understood that they are subject to His approval or veto. Even Jesus prayed—"It it be your will, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done." Jesus was apparently praying for something that was not in God's will to grant—but like all prayers of faithful servants or children, His request was qualified by the question of God's approval.

When we pray, we do the opposite of binding God's hands. Rather, we release Him to act in the earthly sphere, over which He has given man dominion (Gen.1:26; Ps.115:16). If He had not made mankind to be lords over the earthly creation, He might act unilaterally whenever He wished. Instead, He awaits permission to interfere in human affairs. The requests of men and women release God to interfere in the realm in which men rule. He would not have instructed us to regularly pray, "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven," if He intended to perform all His will with or without our requesting it. "You have not because you ask not" (James 4:2) suggests that God's will was to grant certain specific requests—but since those requests were never made, they were never granted. Prayers that were neglected would have changed things had they been prayed in faith.

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Sat May 04, 2019 1:07 pm
by crgfstr1
Thank you... That helps.

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 8:33 pm
by Paidion
I don't understand, Steve. If what we want is already God's will, why pray? Won't He accomplish it anyway just because He wills it?

Here is a case in which it is recorded that Moses prayed for something contrary to God's will, and as a result of his prayer, God changed His mind:

9 The LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and behold, they are an obstinate people.
10 "Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation."
11 Then Moses entreated the LORD his God, and said, "O LORD, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12 "Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people.
13 "Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heavens, and all this land of which I have spoken I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’"
14 So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. (Exodus 9-14 NAS95)

Re: Asking for prayers?

Posted: Mon May 06, 2019 6:33 pm
by crgfstr1
Interesting question. The NKJV has a slightly different take on it:

So the Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.

I think having God change His mind would go against other scripture wouldn't it? I kind of view that passage as God teaching Moses using a bit of reverse psychology.

Are there other cases where God "changes His mind":

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Malachi 3:6 - For I [am] the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Do those verses only apply to certain things about God?