We undoubtedly pray for ourselves, but our prayers ought to include others—even Christians we do not know by name. Though the apostle Paul may not have known all the believers in Colossae, he wrote: “We thank God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ always when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in connection with Christ Jesus and the love you have for all the holy ones.” (Col. 1:3, 4) Paul also prayed for Christians in Thessalonica. (2 Thess. 1:11, 12) Prayers of that kind say much about us and how we view our brothers and sisters in the faith.
Our prayers for anointed Christians and for their “other sheep” companions give evidence of our concern for God’s organization. (John 10:16) Paul asked fellow worshippers to pray so that ‘ability to speak might be given him to make known the sacred secret of the good news.’ (Eph. 6:17-20) Do we personally pray for other Christians in that way?
Praying for others may change our attitude toward them. If we are not particularly fond of a person but we pray for him, how can we be unloving toward that person? (1 John 4:20, 21) Prayers of this kind are upbuilding and promote unity with our brothers. Moreover, such prayers indicate that we have Christlike love. (John 13:34, 35)
That quality is part of the fruitage of God’s spirit. Do we individually pray for holy spirit, asking Jehovah to help us display its fruitage of love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, and self-control? (Luke 11:13; Gal. 5:22, 23) If so, our words and deeds will show that we are walking and living by spirit.—Read Galatians 5:16, 25.
If we learn that our children are being tempted to cheat on tests at school, we should pray for them and also give them Scriptural help so that they will act honestly and will not do anything wrong. Paul told Christians in Corinth: “We pray to God that you may do nothing wrong.” (2 Cor. 13:7)
Humble prayers of that kind please Jehovah and speak well of us. (Read Proverbs 15:8.) We can ask that others pray for us, even as the apostle Paul did. “Carry on prayer for us,” he wrote, “for we trust we have an honest conscience, as we wish to conduct ourselves honestly in all things.”—Heb. 13:18.