I believe the most important people on this earth are those who can intercede for their friends and loved ones. God desires that we pray one for another. And the Bible says we can pray with power and confidence. 1 John 5:14 states, "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us." But how can we know we're praying in the will of God. One thing I've learned is to pray the prayers found in the Bible, using them as models. In the book of Ephesians, Paul offered up a prayer for those he loved. We can learn from and model his prayer as we pray for others. Wouldn't it be a blessing to pray for your loved ones this way? He prayed for:
Spiritual Wealth for Their Needfulness
He didn't pray for financial wealth, but spiritual wealth. In verse eight he refers to "the unsearchable riches of Christ." He says, "Oh, God, help them know how rich they are. Help them understand the unsearchable riches of Christ Jesus, to know the eternal purpose of God."
Do you know why your kids get into worldliness? You may come to church three times a week, sing in the choir, and give your tithe; but your kids are out there dabbling in the world. It's because they don't know what they have in the Lord Jesus Christ. Pray that your children would realize their spiritual wealth.
God's Strength for Their Weakness
Paul continues praying in verse sixteen, "That He [God] would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man." Paul didn't pray, "Lord, help them to be healthy." He said, "God, may they be strengthened with might in the inner man."
Fasten your heart and mind upon that one you love and say, "Oh, God, make them strong spiritually. Make them a giant for you. Give them might in the inner man."
Spiritual Depth for Their Shallowness
In verse seventeen, Paul prays for their depth: "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love." He's saying, "I don't want you to be shallow Christians. I want you to be rooted. I want you to be solid."
We should pray for our loved ones to:
- "dwell" — to be at home with the Lord; and that the Lord be at home with them.
- "be rooted" — to go deep
- "be grounded" — to have a foundation they can stand on.
Spiritual Perspective for their Narrowness
Paul's prayer continues that they "may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge...." (verses 18-19) He wants them to have a broadness in their understanding of God. He's not saying be compromisingly broad, but broad enough to understand the extent of God's love.
Pray your loved ones would know the breadth, length, depth, and height of His love. And when they understand the fullness of God's love, they can broaden their love for those around them, as well.
Spiritual Fullness for Their Emptiness
Finally, Paul prays "...that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God" (verse 19). When somebody jostles you, whatever you're full of is going to spill out. You're either going to be full of Jesus or you're going be full of self. We are a blessing not when we're trying to be a blessing but when we're just overflowing. So we pray for those we love, "Oh, Lord, may they have Your fullness for their emptiness."
Pray through His Power and for His Praise
When we pray in God's will, we tap into His great power. Verse twenty says, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." Sometimes, you may pray and think your prayer is not answered. It's not because your prayer exceeded God's power, but because God's plan exceeded your prayer. So as you pray, glance at your problems but gaze at God's power.
And then we should pray with His praise in mind: "Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (verse 21). When you pray in God's will, through His power, and your prayers are for the glory of God; you'll see things begin to happen. Just try it!