I know this will sound like a silly question to some, but why do people ask others to pray for them? Are 2 prayers more “powerful” than 1 prayer?
2 scripture methods come to mind–
when 2 or more are gathered in my name - there " i am " in that fellowship
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16),
(do you know any one who as effective prayer?)
Although the Bible offers a great deal of guidance on how we can deepen our communication with the Creator, effective prayer has more to do with the one doing the praying than it does with “how” we are to pray. Indeed,
Scripture says,** “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16), **
and that the “eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer” (1 Peter 3:12; Psalm 34:15),
and, again, “the prayer of the upright pleases Him” (Proverbs 15:8). Prayer saved the righteous Daniel from the lion’s den (Daniel 6:11), and in the wilderness,
God’s chosen people benefitted from Moses’ right standing with God (Exodus 16–17).
The barren Hannah’s steadfast and humble prayers resulted in the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:20),
and the apostle Paul’s prayers even caused the earth to shake (Acts 16:25-26). Clearly, the passionate prayers of God’s righteous children can accomplish much (Numbers 11:2).
We need to make sure that our prayers are in line with God’s will.
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14-15). Praying in accordance with God’s will is essentially praying in accord with what He would want, and we can see God’s revealed will throughout Scripture.
And if we do not know what to pray for, Paul reminds us that as God’s children we can rely on the Holy Spirit to intercede for us, as
“the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will” (Romans 8:27). And since the Spirit of God knows the mind of God,
the Spirit’s prayer is always in keeping with the will of the Father.
We come to God as a community, His church, and should pray for one another, joining in the communion of Saints. Power has nothing to do about it.
**Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those **who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has."
If I may, seeing how there are so many prayer requests at CAF, I try to remember to recommend them all to Our Lord & Lady each day.
1 Samuel 12:23, Samuel told the Israelites, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.”
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14-15).
I’d forgotten that verse,
but wrote the following independently:
“Someone who wants to do God’s will has an unconquerable ally” ( and therefore can’t be defeated etc )
I always think of the parable of the persistent widow. Luke 18:1-8. If there had been three widows, or ten, etc. the judge might have given in sooner.
I don’t fully understand how it works, all I know is that Jesus, in his teachings, and the Old Testament, tell us that prayers of petition must be constant and persistent.
I often think of this parable also, but I have never considered it in the context of praying for others/others praying for me. I love it!
Hmm… I find it hard to believe that a loving God sees a woman with cancer, and then he thinks to himself, “I *could *heal her, but nobody is praying for her, so I guess not.”…
Why wouldn’t a loving family of God pray for their sister? If they don’t a family isn’t truly family. The whole point is we are members of a body of Christ and we are supposed to love God and each other. So God smiles when we do this.
It is a good thing that family members are concerned for each other. I just have a hard time thinking that a God of love would ignore those who are not fortunate enough to have someone who prays for them.
Why wouldn’t they?
There have been a lot of interesting responses but I don’t think any of them directly address the question. If the Biblical quotes addressed it, then maybe I am not understanding them correctly. So allow me to rephrase, and because I’m being dense, the more explicit and direct you can be with the answer, the better.
My question is this: what is the purpose of praying for another person? For example, an acquaintance at mass said he has been praying for his mother, who is ill. He asked me to also pray for her. Implicit in that request is the idea that both of us praying for her is better than just him praying for her. Otherwise, why ask? So another variation of my question is 1. is that true? and 2. if so, why?
We are told to pray for one another in the Scriptures. Here are just a few examples:
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
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,
1 Timothy 2:1
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
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,
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
It is a good question. A very good one. I see a few possibilities. Assuming for the sake of the argument that a personal God who listens to prayer exists:
a) The healing is brought about through paranormal powers that humans possess, and so more humans means more healing power.
b) God is unlikely to heal people who have no one to pray for them, and the more people who pray, and the longer they persist, the greater the possibility that God will listen.
c) Prayer brings comfort and a sense of fellowship with God and with other humans, and prayer is way of showing you care. But whatever God intends to do, God will do, whether or not anyone prays.
The Bible quotes, if nothing else, show that God wants us to pray for the good and well being of each other.
As to what is the purpose of praying for another person, at least in the case of your friend’s mother, is to petition God to heal her for another it could be the salvation of their soul.
Yes it’s true that another praying for you is better. This is a reach, but I think it’s for the same reason that another person’s witness is more powerful than your own. Even Christ said
John 5:31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
John 8:54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
It’s why we keep repeating Holy Mary Mother of God pray for us sinners… We ask her to honor us to the Her divine Son.
I vote ©, sort of:
One is speaking with God in prayer, and we do so as a community, a church, one body in Christ.
In situations as that described above, we are with Jesus in Gethsemane (hopefully more present than the sleeping apostles).
We are asking for something that is good and in keeping with what we expect that He would want, aware however that in His omniscience and infinite goodness, it is His will that we should follow.
Prayer brings peace, strength and thankful acceptance of what is God’s will.
God does what is good. Prayer keeps us connected to Him