"I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (I Timothy 2:1-2).
When we pray for others, we not only are helping to assure a good life for ourselves--as our text indicates--but, more importantly, we are thereby becoming more like Christ. On the cross itself, "He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12). Since His return to heaven, He has been continually occupied with His ministry of intercession. "Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us" (Romans 8:34).
Not only is our resurrected, glorified Savior perpetually interceding for us in heaven, but also, the indwelling Holy Spirit is praying for us here. "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God" (Romans 8:26-27).
Now if both God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are always interceding for us before God the Father, we surely ought to be willing to spend time in prayer for others down here--not only for our loved ones, but even for those who have hurt us. Jesus said, "Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
May God help us to be faithful in this vital ministry of intercession. HMM