If we love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, then we shall always seek their well-being. In the Bible, the Greek word used for love is “agape,” which is the highest form of love compared to eros, philia, and other forms. Agape means a selfless and sacrificial kind of love that seeks the well-being of others. The Bible uses the Greek word “agape” whenever the Bible mentions God’s love. Indeed, God’s love for us is selfless and sacrificial. It was displayed on the cross when Jesus Christ selflessly obeyed the Father up to the point of death and sacrificially gave His life to pay the penalty of our sins so that in Him we may receive forgiveness and eternal life. When we encounter this love that we can only receive from God, we also gain the ability to love others with an “agape” kind of love. That is why the Bible says if we are truly born of God and know God, Who is love, then we should love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. If we love them, we shall seek their well-being. We seek the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ by blessing them with their needs, encouraging them when they are going through difficulties, checking up on them, and by many other means. One of the ways we also do this is by praying for them. We pray for them because we bear their burdens as if they are our burdens. We intercede for them constantly on their behalf as if their problems were ours.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 John 4:7-8
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
We seek the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and also the well-being of the unbelieving people we know. It is one of the ways we can minister to the lost. Like your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, you can bless them, encourage them, be there for them, etc. However, the most important thing you can do for their welfare is to seek their spiritual well-being. You do that by preaching the Gospel to them. In other words, just as you pray for the physical well-being of unbelievers, it is even more important to pray for their spiritual well-being so they will be saved.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
1 John 4:9-10
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
What do you say when you pray for someone?
As mentioned above, praying for the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ is one of the ways we can show love to them. You can pray for them when you spend solitude with God in your devotion, or you can pray for them in person when you meet in the church, have fellowship, or gather in a prayer meeting. It is best if you do both. When we pray for them in person, they get encouraged and edified by the prayer we pray for them. To know what to pray for them, you can ask them if they want you to pray for them. You can also ask them how they are doing when you meet in church or have fellowship somewhere. If they mentioned anything going on in their life, like they are having a hard time at work or are going through emotional pain, you could pray for them regarding those things they shared and seek their well-being.
Given the example scenario above, where you were catching up with a fellow believer and they mentioned that they were going through emotional pain, here is an example of how you can pray for their well-being:
Heavenly Father, You are the God of mercy and comfort Who comforts us in times of affliction. I pray that You would comfort [name of the person] as he/she goes through emotional turmoil in their life. Remind them of the joy that they have in Christ and that they are contented in Christ. I pray for healing upon this person, emotionally and mentally, and give them the grace to endure the tough season they are going through. In Jesus’ name. I pray. Amen.
You can pray the same way when you are praying for the well-being of others in your devotion to God. The critical thing here is to know how they are doing. For example, suppose a natural disaster is about to hit a particular area where you know some brothers and sisters in Christ live. In that case, you can pray for their well-being by asking for their safety and protection. Here is an example of how you can pray for that:
Heavenly Father, You are our fortress and our refuge. I pray for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, who are about to be hit with a natural disaster, that You would protect them and keep them safe from any harm. I pray that there won’t be any severe damage to their properties. Remind them that You are their refuge, fortress, and strong tower, to Whom they can run in times of trouble. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
1 Timothy 2:1
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
It is also important to note that praying for someone’s well-being is not just for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and unbelieving friends, workmates, schoolmates, or family members that we know. We are also to pray for the well-being of our enemies. Christ teaches us that when someone hates us, persecutes us, or does us evil, we are not to retaliate but to love them. We are not to repay evil with evil. Instead, we are to repay evil with good. The Bible also says that doing good to those who have done us evil is like heaping burning coals on their heads. We have to show them mercy and love just as God showed us mercy and love. Still, one of the ways we respond in love is by praying for them and doing good deeds for them. That means praying for good health upon your enemy if he or she is sick, comfort if he or she is going through some trial, provision if he or she is going through financial difficulties, and much more. However, if your enemy is not a Christian, then as mentioned before, the most important prayer you can pray for his or her well-being is to be saved. You can do so by praying that the Holy Spirit shall turn his or her heart of stone to a heart of flesh, open his or her spiritually blinded eyes, and cause him or her to be birthed again in the Spirit.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Here is an example of praying for the spiritual well-being of your unbelieving enemy, or even a friend and family member:
Holy Spirit, You are the One Who causes regeneration in our hearts. I pray that You would cause [name of the person] to be birthed again in the Spirit to open his/her spiritually blinded eyes so that he/she may see the kingdom of God. I pray that You would turn his/her heart of stone to a heart of flesh so that he/she may receive the Gospel, repent, and follow Christ. May he/she find the security of his/her spiritual well-being in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
How do you tell someone you’re praying for them?
It is also good that you tell someone that you are praying for them from time to time. It would greatly encourage the person to know that you remember them in your prayers. It also tells them that you care about them. You can message the people you are praying for at any random time. You can give them a short encouragement and then tell them that you pray for them. For sure, your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will appreciate it. That is also one of the ways that the world will know that you are indeed disciples of Christ—by the way you love each other. If you do it to an unbeliever, it might open their heart for the Gospel and allow you to preach the Gospel to them and let themselves be discipled. After all, we preach the Gospel and demonstrate it through the love that we show to others.
It takes selflessness for us to always remember others in our prayers and seek their well-being. It also takes selflessness to stop constantly talking about our concerns, needs, and the things going on in our lives and start asking about how others are doing. We ask others how they are doing and pray for them because we want to seek their well-being.