Brothers, pray for us. 1 Thessalonians 5:25
We find Saint Paul continually praying for the Christians entrusted to his care. He names them before God and fervently asks the Father to fill their needs. But Saint Paul does not stop here. He realizes that he is his brother's keeper. He sees himself as the servant of God's grace. For Paul this means that he is an agent God uses to help and keep Paul's neighbors. So a part of Paul's prayer for others is a prayer for himself. He prays, and he asks the prayers of all Christians -- "Brothers, pray for us" -- that God would give him the strength to be the answer to his neighbor's prayer.
There are times and conditions when we fervently ask God to come to our loved one on wings of healing. We beg Him to give them the courage they need for the difficult hours of their lives. We plead with him to give them strength to choose the right.
This is good, but let us pray for ourselves at the same time. We are our brother's keeper. Perhaps the courage our friend needs for his dark hours can best be given by God through us, if only we would pray God to make us strong to help. Perhaps the guidance, the understanding, and the help our friend needs can best be given by God through us.
Some of our best prayers for others are those fervent prayers we say for ourselves.
PRAYER: Lord, teach us the value of helping others by praying for ourselves. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996 (out of print), Concordia Publishing House. For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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