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Hebrews 13:3 NIV 
2017-11-14Written by Bob and Debby Gass
Pray for them
The Bible tells us, 'Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters' (Hebrews 13:1 NIV). Then it gets specific: 'Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering' (v. 3 NIV). When we offer to pray for someone who's struggling, we often say a few words to God about them, asking Him to help them and strengthen them. But do our prayers really come from our heart, as if we were praying for ourselves in that same situation? That's the challenge in Hebrews 13:3. Have you ever prayed for a friend who's about to sit an exam? How did you pray for them? Was it the same way you prayed for yourself when you were facing an exam? How do you pray for someone who's ill compared to how you pray for yourself when you're ill? When we make the choice to follow Christ, we become part of the body of Christ: 'in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others' (Romans 12:5 NIV). When another Christian is suffering, we should think of them as if it's a part of our own body that's hurting. When we've got a physical injury, we'll usually do whatever we need to take away the pain and heal the injury. So when we're praying for others, let's avoid falling into the habit of saying words that sound like the right thing to pray. Instead, let's pray from our hearts, for as long as it takes, as if it's us having to go through the same situation.
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