If I’m praying for something, why should I ask you to pray for it, too?  Or ten others?  Or hundreds of others?group prayer

When it comes to ministry to the political community, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 is a prayer commanded to all who are followers of Christ:

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

If you and I follow that call to pray, is our obedience complete?  Is it at all important that we remind others to pray for the same thing?  Is God likely to answer quicker or with more intensity if a larger number of people are praying for any given item?  Why share prayer requests with a growing circle of people in the first place?

Anytime we have questions about the nature of prayer, there has to be a willingness to accept the fact that answers may not be as clear-cut as we like.  The scriptures teach us some things about prayer, but in the end God is the only One who can possibly understand final outcomes.  That said, are there any objective answers to these questions above?

Without pretending to know all of God’s mind on this, here are a five things I do know:

1)  The command to pray for our leaders in 1 Timothy 2 is for all believers.  God wants a large quantity of prayer on this particular request.

2)  Faith is still the deciding factor in any prayer being heard and answered.  “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek HimHebrews 11:6.

3)  This request, as with all prayer, can be made in a wrong way.  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures”  James 4:3.

4)  There are verses that emphasize the power of many people praying for the same thing.  “you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many”  2 Corinthians 1:11.

5)  We still can’t discount the effectiveness of the faith-filled prayer poured out from a single pure heart.  “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”  James 5:16.

What a priviledge to pray for those who lead us, and what a serious thing it is.  What a responsibility they bear and what guidance they need from God.  We should be encouraged that the Lord hears the prayer of faith from us individually, but we should not stop reminding one another to obey the call to lift our voices corporately for the same purposes.  The wonder is that we are allowed to communicate with The Holy One at all.

We must stay expectant and faithful as we pray for leaders’ hearts, both individually and as a Church.  How God chooses to answer is totally up to Him.