What can we learn from the way Christ prayed for others?
[Darris McNeely] One of the key prayers that we could ever make as a Christian is to intercede with an intercessory prayer for another person. This is a key, I think, to prayer and to helping us to understand something about God, Jesus Christ, and how we should live and treat one another in our lives.
In John 15:13 John 15:13Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
American King James Version×, there’s a statement made by Jesus Christ that is well-known to us all. He says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” Greater love. Christ, of course, did that. But also, what Jesus did before He actually laid down His life for His friends was He prayed for them. He actually prayed to the Father and He said, “Father, keep them. Watch over them. Protect them.” And then He laid down His life for us.
Now as we follow Christ’s command and as we strive to emulate and to model that love that He has, I think that intercessory prayer, where we take our friends, our foes – where we take the needs of people who are sick, who are struggling, the needs of this world, even, and we lay it before God in prayer – we are doing something to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ Himself.
There’s another passage that speaks to this in Hebrews chapter 13, beginning in verse 1. It says, “Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Then he says, “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them.” Now, the apostle Paul was talking about this here in terms of, remember those who are certainly imprisoned in a literal prison. But as he goes on here, he says, “Those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are in the body, also” (Hebrews 13:1-3 Hebrews 13:1-3  Let brotherly love continue.
 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
American King James Version×).
You know, prison has different forms. We can be imprisoned emotionally, mentally – by fear, by anger, by worry, by doubt – and to chain ourselves to others that are imprisoned, I think has an application when it comes to the prayer that we make to God for one another. And so let me encourage you to lay down your life in prayer for someone and take someone’s case and life to God in prayer, and chain yourself in that spiritual discipline to others who are mistreated who may need that help as a devoted act of love for one another.
Intercessory prayer is one of the great keys, I think, to helping us accomplish a unity – a spiritual unity – and also to help us in understanding the love that we have to have, one for another.
Next time on this series, we’ll talk about a key lesson from an example where Christ was intervening on behalf of someone and what He looked at and saw, and what it can teach us about this matter of intercessory prayer.
That’s BT Daily. Join us next time.