Praying for Another to the Chief End

Praying for Another to the Chief End


So often I hear, and of course read on social media, people saying, “I will pray for you“. Whenever I hear this two questions immediately come to mind: 1.) I wonder if they will indeed pray? 2.) To what chief end will be their prayer if they do pray? Today I want us to consider applying a few thoughts regarding the second question.

When we actually do pray for another, something that ought to be evident in our private lives before God, what is it we are asking God for? We should pray for one another for various reasons, there is no doubt about that, but think for a minute, what is it we should really be praying for, earnestly praying for?

If we only pray for another’s physical needs, or often simply wants, we have missed the entire point of the redeeming work of Christ and His Gospel. Praying for our physical prosperity as our ‘main focus’ is very deceiving and destructive and leads to a false sense of security, not to mention it is contradictory to the realities of true grace, anti-biblical and completely at enmity with God.

Let’s look at two examples for us to consider.

First, let us consider how Paul and Timothy prayed for the “saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae“. (Colossians 1:2) 

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

Now let us also consider how our Lord and Savior prayed for us.

I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:15-23)

In both of the above accounts we see that prayer was not simply for our temporal flesh, but rather for a deeper reason Jesus, Paul and Timothy prayed – they prayed to the chief end of authentically walking with God, being made more into the very image of Jesus, and growing mature through sanctification and being made holy. This type of praying has one’s best truly in mind, a best that is eternal, true and righteous. This type of praying, a praying for others for the chiefest of ends, with eternal life as the goal. This is what ought to be at the heart and soul of our praying, of our thoughts and of our motivations.

Oh if we will come to see this as of the utmost importance of our lives and in the lives of others, we will see the authentically powerful and victorious presence of our dear Lord. For in praying to this end, our God is greatly glorified, the church is edified and those without hope will be given the true grace, mercy and hope of Christ. 

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.”

Helpful resources regarding prayer.


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