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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 7

[The previous text in the book says that praying for believers is by far the most common type of prayer in the New Testament. Praying for the sick occurs a little. Praying for sinners to be converted is hardly mentioned in the New Testament.]

What, exactly, should we pray for other believers? Based on the New Testament, there are several things we should ask for. Some of them were given in the prayer of John 17 . . . . Others include these:

That other believers don’t habitually sin, and that they become sanctified:

1 Corinthians 13:7a Now I pray to God that you do no evil; not that we may appear approved, but that you may do that which is honorable,

1 Thessalonians 5:23 May the God of peace himself sanctify you completely. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

James 5:13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises. 14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord, 15 and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.

The James 5 passage is commonly used as a motivation for praying for the sick, and that’s appropriate, but it is also about praying for forgiveness of sin in believers.

That their love may increase: Philippians 1:9 This I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and all discernment;

(Paul is speaking of agape love, the unselfish, caring kind that Christ had for others, and the kind described in 1 Corinthians 13.)

Colossians 1:9 For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 that you may walk worthily of the Lord, to please him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, for all endurance and perseverance with joy;

2 Thessalonians 1:11 To this end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire of goodness and work of faith, with power;

The above, except for the insert in brackets, which was put in for clarity in changing from a full book to a series of blog posts, is an excerpt from my recently published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, public domain.

The previous post in this series is here.

Thanks for reading!

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