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Prayer, for others

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Believers should pray, not only for their own needs, but for those of others. Scripture provides many examples of intercession, and commends it as pleasing to God.

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Believers must value others

Philippians 2:3–4 ESV
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Examples of praying for others

Moses prays for the Israelites

Deuteronomy 9:18–19 ESV
Then I lay prostrate before the Lord as before, forty days and forty nights. I neither ate bread nor drank water, because of all the sin that you had committed, in doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger. For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure that the Lord bore against you, so that he was ready to destroy you. But the Lord listened to me that time also.
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Samuel prays for Israel

1 Samuel 7:5–9 ESV
Then Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the people of Israel at Mizpah. Now when the Philistines heard that the people of Israel had gathered at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the people of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. And the people of Israel said to Samuel, “Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that he may save us from the hand of the Philistines.” So Samuel took a nursing lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. And Samuel cried out to the Lord for Israel, and the Lord answered him.
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Job prays for his friends

Job 42:10 ESV
And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Jeremiah prays for Judah

God forbade the prophet Jeremiah to pray for his people because they were unrepentant sinners.
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Jesus Christ intercedes for believers

Romans 8:34 ESV
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
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The Holy Spirit intercedes for believers

Romans 8:26–27 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Christians are to intercede for others

Christians are to pray for their enemies

Matthew 5:44 ESV
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
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Christians are to pray for one another

Ephesians 6:18 ESV
praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
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Christians are to prayer for rulers

1 Timothy 2:1–2 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

Examples of pleas made to Jesus Christ on behalf of others

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Examples of notable prayers of intercession

Hezekiah for deliverance; Ezra for a safe journey; Daniel for Jerusalem; Jesus Christ for his disciples

Paul for the believers in Ephesus:

Paul for the believers in Colosse
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