In many of his letters, Paul tells them that he is daily praying for them and bringing them and their needs or praises to God.
This is very important. We all know the classic example of instruction to pray, “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name...” you know how it goes. But is that all? Are we just to recite a formula every day? I think not. Paul doesn’t say that he prays the Lord’s Prayer multiple times every day; he says in 1 Thessalonians 1:2 ‘We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers’.
Paul is constantly thinking of these fellow believers and thanking God for them daily! This is the perfect example of Paul’s diligence and constancy in prayer. He remembers the whole Thessalonian church and although he may not recall each member by name, when I read that he says similar things in Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Philippians, I realize that he was remembering before the Lord several congregations and hundreds of individual believers every day!
Individual remembrance of friends, both Christian and non-Christian, is an important part of prayer. We do not need to remember every individual that we know by name in every single prayer, but once a day we ought to be caring enough to pray for a particular family or group of friends individually and by name.
I believe that this habit is shown to us clearly in the Scriptures. Take for example Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In verse 16 of the opening chapter he says, “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” In Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and 2 Timothy Paul tells the readers how he prays for them ceaselessly and constantly. Paul is often regarded as an example of faith, and this is so true! But not just of faith, but also of prayer. Ephesians 6:18 says, “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” This is commanded to us at the end of a section concerning spiritual warfare. Surely then prayer is essential to our lives in Christ and our spiritual battle with Christ as our commander! No army can function without any communication to their leader!
We cannot function as a body without communication with our head. Nor is a body fully functional if parts of it are unresponsive from the lack of care from their partners. As a body we should be relating information to our head concerning our fellow body parts. The head cannot do anything if He does not know about the problem. Obviously, Christ does not need us to inform Him of anything, but God uses our prayers as a means for grace.
So let us keep praying for each other and, in the spirit of many TPS teachers, also giving one another praises and prayer requests.
Matthias Hargrave (17) is the Executive Director at CLM/TPS Chapel. He is a senior at TPS.