Selfishness and Intercession Don’t Mix

When we look to the bible we see that sin is very much selfish.  It does not concern itself with the glory and pleasure of God or truly concern itself with the good of others.  When we sin we follow our own passions and desires (Eph. 2).  That means that the corruption of our flesh and the selfishness it breeds is a roadblock and barrier to outward focused prayer, especially prayer for others.  But Scripture helps us with many admonitions.

Philippians 2:4 is one of them.  It says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  This obviously is not a passage related directly to prayer.  In fact it could be applied to many different things.  But we must not miss the fact that applies to prayer.  Praying for others requires turning from our own cares and concerns to focus on another and that is often difficult for us.  But as Paul exhorts the church, if you have experienced the mercy of Christ and come to love him then love his people.  Count them more significant than yourselves, and consider their interests as well as your own.  Let me encourage you to practice this as it applies to prayer for the members of our church.  Also think of other ways it might apply in your own lives and how your heart might need to be redirected in an outward direction by the Lord.