As a read another chapter today in A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D. A. Carson, I was struck with how frequently and how devotedly Paul prayed for others. Simply stated, if we would learn to pray with Paul, we must learn to pray for others. We will be convinced that part of our spiritual duty as Christians is to pray for others, both in giving thanks for them and in interceding on behalf of them.
Carson writes, “Just as Scripture must reform our beliefs about God, our dealing with others, our fundamental values, so too must it shape our praying.”
There are many things that may keep us from praying for others like we should, but one family of culprits include “sheer bitterness, nurtured resentment, nicely preserved grudges, and a desperate lack of forgiveness.” The spiritual remedy is found in Ephesians 4:32 and a warning about the effect of bitterness and an unforgiving spirit is starkly stated in Mark 11:25. If we don’t forgive others, the Father won’t forgive our sins.
Carson concludes, “If you are serious about reformiing your prayer life, you must begin with your heart.”