I used to think “I’ll pray for you” was such a lame answer.
To me, I thought that it was something that we Christians fell back on when we have no other solution to give (or perhaps when we don’t want to give anything!).
For example, say I had a friend in deep financial trouble. Deep down, perhaps I don’t really want to step out of my comfort zone to help him, so I pat him on the shoulder and say, “I’ll pray for you”.
But being in 7G’s flock system for several months now has helped me to see beyond that.
In the past few months, the 7G community has started praying for each other in so many situations: Parents in medical emergencies, guidance in marriage, when we feel angry or stressed at work, when we’re taking exams, and so much more.
During our flock review session a couple of weeks ago and Community Time this past weekend, many of us echoed the sentiments that we had grown in our ability to support each other through prayer.
But first, I was curious to find out if praying for each other was really commanded by God, or if it was something Christians do because it “feels good” to us.
What Does The Bible Tell Us About Prayer?
Indeed, the Bible teaches us to pray for each other.
According to this article, there are several instances where people whom God loved prayed to God on behalf of others:
- Abraham interceded for the people of Sodom for the sake of his nephew Lot (Genesis 18:23-33).
- Moses pleaded for God’s mercy for the sinning people of Israel (Exodus 32:9-14; Numbers 14:11-20).
- Daniel made supplication to God for his people (Daniel 9:3-19).
- The apostle Peter prayed for Dorcas (Acts 9:36-41).
- The apostle Paul prayed for the people he served (Romans 1:9-10; 10:1; Ephesians 1:15-19; Philippians 1:3-11; 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13).
In these instances, prayer wasn’t a “numbers game” where the goal was to get as many signatures as possible on a petition list to God.
Instead, the motivation of Abraham, Moses, Paul and everyone above was that of love and unselfish concern for the people they were praying for.
How The Flock System Helps Us To Pray For Each Other
Writing that last line was slightly uncomfortable for me. Why? Because “love and unselfish concern” doesn’t come naturally for an egocentric person like me.
Which is where the flock system comes in.
In one sense, it was a natural evolution as our community grew bigger. But being in a flock had an additional obvious advantage: It helped us to journey together.
As we communicated our struggles, hopes, joys, and worries with each other, it was a lot easier to put myself in the shoes of my flock members and share in those emotions.
And with a deeper sharing of each other’s lives, we slowly experienced a greater sense of empathy for each other.
Essentially, it became easier to pray for each other without feeling “fake”. Because we were journeying with each other, we could reach out in genuine love and concern when another flock member needed help.
Perhaps that’s why God put us in these flocks: Since empathy isn’t a natural inclination for young working adults like us, we needed to learn how to love other another – just as He loved us!