There are times I find it easier to pray for myself than others. I am sure I am not the only one. The Bible does tell us to present our requests to God, but we think that is only pertaining to our own wants and desires. If you have read the entire Bible, you know that is not the case. Yes, we are to cast our cares onto the Lord, but our cares should not be all about us.
In 1 Timothy 2:1, we see "that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people." The Apostle Paul didn't stop there. He continued by adding "for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Timothy 2:2). We are pray for all of those in leadership position. For Americans, it is presidents, governors, mayors, etc. For others, it is a communist dictator or a president that won a rigged election. We are to pray for those in political power even when we disagree with them.
Back to 1 Timothy 2:1, we should pray for all people. For Christians, we pray for those in our congregation and our immediate family. When we pray for the lost, we pray for their salvation. What praying for those whose lifestyle or religion we don't agree with? What does the Bible say? Pray for all people. I am sure many of you have watched news reports and even read news articles about the shooting in Orlando that happened early Sunday morning. The place that was attacked was a gay bar. Many in the Christian community are calling one another to pray for those affected by the shooting even though we may not agree with their lifestyle. We can also pray for those who are in different religion that they may see the light of Christ. Many Christians were called to pray for Muslims during the month of Ramadan, the Muslim fasting period, that Christ may reveal Himself to practicing Muslims. There have been many stories of God answering prayer during this time and many Muslims have come to faith in Christ.
What about praying for those who want to harm Christians or take their rights away. Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:44-45). Is that hard to do? Yes. However, under the power of the Holy Spirit, we can pray for our enemies. Once again, the Bible tells us to pray for all people.
Have you ever prayed for a Hollywood movie star or a sports athlete that they may turn to Christ for the forgiveness of sins? Guess what? They are also people that need to be prayed for. As well as the homeless, abused, and even students who are failing a class.
We may not know everyone by name, but we are to pray for all people. You can pray for a particular people group that has no access to a printed Bible. You can pray for students especially during this time while they are on summer vacation. When you think about a random person, pray for him/her. One thing I do is pray for whoever needs an ambulance as it passes by on the highway.
The Bible commands Christians to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Therefore, we must not cease to intercede for all people on their behalf before a holy God is who able to answer our prayers.