‘And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.’ Job 42:10
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Samuel 12:19–25
How are you to prove your love to Christ or to his church if you refuse to pray for men? ‘We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.’ If we do not love the brethren, we are still dead. I will assert that no man loves the brethren who does not pray for them. It is the very least thing you can do, and if you do not perform the least, you certainly will fail in the greater. You do not love the brethren unless you pray for them, and then it follows you are dead in trespasses and sins. Let me ask you again how it is that you hope to get your own prayers answered if you never plead for others? Will not the Lord say, ‘Selfish wretch, you are always knocking at my door, but it is always to cry for your own welfare and never for another’s; inasmuch as you have never asked for a blessing for one of the least of these my brethren, neither will I give a blessing to you. You do not love the saints, you do not love your fellow men, how can you love me whom you have not seen, and how shall I love you and give you the blessing which you ask at my hands?’ Brethren, again I say I would earnestly exhort you to intercede for others, for how can you be Christians if you do not? Christians are priests, but how priests if they offer no sacrifice? Christians are lights, but how are they lights unless they shine for others? Christians are sent into the world, even as Christ was sent into the world, but how are they sent unless they are sent to pray? Christians are meant not only to be blessed themselves, but in them shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, but how if you refuse to pray?
For meditation: The Christian should pray for other Christians (Ephesians 6:18) including those who are suffering (Acts 12:5), speaking (Ephesians 6:19–20) and sick (James 5:16); our prayers should also have a place for enemies (Matthew 5:44), for the lost (Romans 10:1) and for political leaders (1 Timothy 2:1–2). How healthy is your prayer life?
Sermon no. 404
9 August (Preached 11 August 1861)