30+ Bible Verses About Praying for Others (With Explanation)

Intercessory prayer, the act of praying on behalf of others, stands as a profound and transformative aspect of the believer’s spiritual journey. Rooted in the foundational principle of love, intercession extends beyond personal needs to embrace the well-being of others.

Throughout the Bible, we encounter teachings and examples that illuminate the significance of this sacred practice. As we explore the topic of intercessory prayer, we delve into the scriptural guidance that shapes our understanding of its purpose, power, and the deep connection it forges within the body of believers.

Join us on a journey to uncover the rich tapestry of insights that the Bible provides on the beauty and impact of praying for others.

Also Read: 25+ Bible Verses About Time (Explained)

Bible Verses About Praying for Others

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Prayer is a powerful tool for interceding on behalf of others. Philippians 4:6 encourages believers to bring all concerns and requests before God. The verse begins with a directive to avoid anxiety. In a world filled with uncertainties and challenges, anxiety can easily take root in our hearts.

However, the remedy provided is prayer. Instead of dwelling on worries, the verse instructs believers to turn to God in every situation. This underscores the inclusivity of prayer—no concern is too trivial or too overwhelming to bring before the Almighty.

James 5:16 (ESV)

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16 underscores the communal aspect of prayer. It encourages believers to not only pray for themselves but also to intercede for one another. The verse begins with the call to confess sins to one another. This mutual openness fosters a sense of community and vulnerability among believers, creating an environment conducive to genuine prayer.

The connection between confession, prayer, and healing is significant. The verse suggests that prayer is not only a spiritual exercise but also a source of healing—both spiritual and, potentially, physical.

1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people.

In 1 Timothy 2:1, the Apostle Paul urges believers to engage in various forms of prayer for all people. This verse broadens the scope of intercession, emphasizing the inclusivity of prayer. Petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving cover a range of ways to communicate with God, encouraging a diverse and comprehensive approach to intercessory prayer.

The use of the word “all” is significant. It signifies that no one is exempt from the need for prayer, and no one should be excluded from our intercession. This universal call to prayer challenges believers to cultivate a heart of compassion for all humanity, recognizing the inherent worth of each individual in the eyes of God.

Colossians 4:2 (ESV)

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 4:2 emphasizes the perseverance and attentiveness required in intercessory prayer. The phrase “continue steadfastly” implies a consistent, unwavering commitment to prayer. Interceding for others is not a one-time event but an ongoing practice that demands dedication and persistence.

The call to be “watchful” adds a layer of mindfulness to our prayers. It encourages believers to be alert and attentive, both to the needs of others and to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This watchfulness extends beyond the physical act of prayer to a spiritual attentiveness that seeks to align our intercession with God’s will.

Matthew 5:44 (NIV)

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.

Matthew 5:44 presents a radical perspective on intercessory prayer by challenging believers to pray for their enemies and those who persecute them. This verse aligns with Jesus’ teachings on love and forgiveness, emphasizing the transformative power of prayer in challenging relationships.

The command to love enemies goes beyond mere sentiment; it extends to intentional prayer for their well-being. This counter-cultural approach to intercession disrupts the natural inclination to pray only for those who favor us. It reflects the selfless and sacrificial love demonstrated by Christ on the cross.

Thessalonians 3:1 (ESV)

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you.

The Apostle Paul’s plea for prayer in 2 Thessalonians 3:1 highlights the interconnectedness of the body of believers. Paul, recognizing the power of collective prayer, requests the Thessalonian Christians to intercede for him and his fellow workers.

This verse illustrates the impact of intercessory prayer on the spread and reception of God’s Word. It emphasizes the idea that prayer is not only for personal needs but also for the advancement of the gospel and the glorification of God’s name.

Intercessory prayer, in this context, is not merely a supportive gesture but an active participation in the divine work of God.

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:18 places prayer in the context of spiritual warfare. The mention of “praying in the Spirit” emphasizes the need for believers to rely on the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit in their intercessory efforts. This verse recognizes that effective intercession involves a spiritual dimension and requires a sensitivity to the promptings of the Spirit.

The call to pray “on all occasions” underscores the continual nature of intercession. It is not restricted to specific moments but is an ongoing, dynamic conversation with God.

Romans 15:30 (NIV)

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.

In Romans 15:30, Paul appeals to the love of the Spirit as a motivation for intercessory prayer. The Apostle recognizes the communal aspect of the Christian journey, urging believers to unite in prayer for one another. This verse emphasizes the mutual dependence of believers on the support of the broader spiritual community.

The phrase “join me in my struggle” conveys the shared challenges faced by believers. Intercessory prayer is portrayed as a way of entering into the struggles and triumphs of fellow Christians, fostering a sense of empathy and solidarity.

1 John 5:16 (ESV)

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

1 John 5:16 introduces a distinctive aspect of intercessory prayer—praying for fellow believers caught in sin. The verse acknowledges the responsibility of believers to intercede for one another’s spiritual restoration. It emphasizes the effectiveness of such prayers, indicating that God responds by granting life to those who have erred.

However, the verse introduces a nuanced perspective by distinguishing between sins that lead to death and those that do not. While believers are encouraged to pray for those in the latter category, the verse suggests that intercession may not be appropriate for sins leading to death.

Luke 22:32 (NIV)

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

In Luke 22:32, Jesus provides a model of intercessory prayer for the strengthening of a fellow disciple, Simon Peter. This verse highlights the redemptive and transformative nature of intercession. Jesus prays not that Peter would be spared from challenges but that his faith would remain resilient in the face of trials.

The phrase “when you have turned back” acknowledges the possibility of stumbling and restoration, emphasizing the grace inherent in intercessory prayer. Jesus, in praying for Peter, demonstrates the redemptive purpose of intercession—to see individuals restored and empowered to strengthen others.

Jeremiah 29:7 (NIV)

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it because if it prospers, you too will prosper.

Jeremiah 29:7 offers guidance on intercessory prayer for the well-being of the community. In a broader sense, it encourages believers to pray for the flourishing of the places and people among whom they reside. The verse links individual prosperity to the overall welfare of the community, fostering a perspective that transcends personal concerns.

This underscores the idea that intercessory prayer extends beyond the boundaries of the Christian community to encompass the broader society.

1 Samuel 12:23 (NIV)

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.

In 1 Samuel 12:23, Samuel expresses a profound commitment to intercessory prayer. His declaration, “far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you,” underscores the moral responsibility believers have in praying for others. Samuel sees neglecting intercessory prayer as a form of disobedience to God—a recognition that failing to pray for others is a missed opportunity to align with God’s purposes.

This verse challenges believers to consider intercessory prayer not merely as a good practice but as an essential aspect of their obedience to God. It emphasizes the ethical dimension of praying for others and highlights the role of prayer in teaching and guiding others in the ways of righteousness. 1 Samuel 12:23 prompts believers to recognize the impact of their intercession on the spiritual journey of those for whom they pray.

2 Corinthians 1:11 (NIV)

…as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

2 Corinthians 1:11 provides insight into the reciprocal nature of intercessory prayer. The Apostle Paul acknowledges the support he receives through the prayers of the Corinthian believers and anticipates that many will give thanks for the answers to those prayers. This verse emphasizes the communal aspect of intercession and its role in generating gratitude and praise among believers.

The phrase “gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many” underscores the idea that collective intercession amplifies the impact of individual prayers. It suggests that the combined prayers of a community can lead to a more significant outpouring of God’s favor and grace. 2 Corinthians 1:11 challenges believers to recognize the power of their collective prayers and the communal joy that arises when prayers are answered.

Psalm 122:6 (NIV)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.”

Psalm 122:6 directs believers to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. This verse, while specific in its focus on a particular city, symbolizes a broader call to intercede for the welfare of cities and nations. The connection between peace and security suggests that intercessory prayer is not only for spiritual well-being but also for the overall stability and prosperity of communities.

Praying for the peace of a city involves a recognition of the interconnectedness of human communities and a desire for the well-being of all. Psalm 122:6 encourages believers to extend their prayers beyond personal concerns to encompass the larger context in which they live. This verse challenges believers to view intercession as a means of contributing to the harmony and security of the places they inhabit.

Acts 12:5 (NIV)

So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

Acts 12:5 recounts a specific instance of collective intercessory prayer within the early Christian community. Peter is imprisoned, and the church responds by earnestly praying for his release. This verse highlights the immediacy and intensity of intercessory prayer in times of crisis, illustrating how the faith community rallies together in support of a fellow believer.

The phrase “earnestly praying” indicates the fervency and persistence of the church’s intercession. Acts 12:5 serves as a reminder that intercessory prayer is not reserved for routine or casual moments but becomes particularly crucial in challenging circumstances. It challenges believers to unite in prayer during times of adversity, relying on God’s intervention and demonstrating the strength of communal intercession.

Psalm 141:2 (NIV)

May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Psalm 141:2 uses vivid imagery to convey the essence of prayer. The comparison of prayer to incense and the lifting up of hands to the evening sacrifice underscores the idea that intercessory prayer is a fragrant offering before God. This verse invites believers to approach prayer with a sense of reverence and sincerity, recognizing it as a spiritual act that ascends to God’s presence.

The imagery of incense suggests that our prayers are not merely words but carry a distinct aroma in the spiritual realm. Psalm 141:2 challenges believers to cultivate a heart of worship in their intercession, approaching God with a posture that reflects the beauty and sacredness of the act of prayer. This verse prompts believers to view their prayers as offerings that bring delight to the heart of God.

Luke 11:1-4 (NIV) 

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

In response to the disciples’ request, Jesus provides them with what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer. While this passage doesn’t specifically address praying for others, it offers a foundational template for prayer that includes both personal and communal aspects. The phrase “Our Father” emphasizes the communal nature of the Christian faith, inviting believers to approach God not just as individuals but as part of a larger family.

The petitions in the Lord’s Prayer, such as “Give us this day our daily bread” and “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us,” highlight the interconnectedness of believers and their shared dependence on God’s provision and mercy. Luke 11:1-4 challenges believers to incorporate intercessory prayer into their daily communication with God, recognizing the importance of communal well-being in their petitions.

Isaiah 62:6-7 (NIV)

I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

Isaiah 62:6-7 portrays a vivid picture of intercessory prayer as watchmen standing on the walls, vigilant and persistent. The imagery suggests that intercession involves a continual and unwavering commitment. The command to “give him no rest” reflects the urgency and persistence required in praying for the fulfillment of God’s purposes.

This passage challenges believers to adopt a posture of perseverance in their intercession. It encourages them to stand as spiritual watchmen, actively engaging in prayer for the advancement of God’s kingdom and the establishment of His purposes. Isaiah 62:6-7 prompts believers to recognize their role as active participants in the divine work through persistent and unceasing intercession.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

While 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 doesn’t specifically address intercessory prayer, it provides a general framework for a life of prayer. The call to “pray continually” implies a constant and ongoing communication with God. This verse challenges believers to cultivate a habit of prayer that permeates every aspect of their lives, including intercession for others.

The inclusion of “give thanks in all circumstances” suggests that intercessory prayer should be accompanied by a spirit of gratitude. Even in the midst of bringing requests before God, believers are encouraged to maintain a thankful heart. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 prompts believers to adopt a lifestyle of prayer that encompasses personal communion with God and intercession for others, grounded in a spirit of rejoicing and gratitude.

John 17:20-23 (NIV) – Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.”

In Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer in John 17, He extends His intercession beyond the immediate disciples to include all future believers. This prayer emphasizes unity among believers as a crucial aspect of their witness to the world. Jesus’ intercession reflects the heart of God for the unity of His people and their testimony to the world.

John 17:20-23 challenges believers to embrace a vision of intercession that extends beyond personal concerns to encompass the broader body of Christ. It underscores the transformative power of unity and the impact it has on the world’s perception of God’s redemptive work. This passage prompts believers to prioritize intercessory prayer for the unity of the Church, recognizing its significance in fulfilling God’s purposes.

Matthew 18:19-20 (NIV)

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

Matthew 18:19-20 underscores the power of united prayer. The emphasis on agreement in prayer suggests that there is strength in communal intercession. This verse challenges believers to seek out fellow believers, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose in their prayers. It also highlights the promise of Christ’s presence when believers come together in His name, underscoring the spiritual significance of collective intercession.

The concept of agreement in prayer encourages believers to align their petitions with the will of God and each other. Matthew 18:19-20 prompts believers to engage in intercessory prayer with a spirit of unity, recognizing that corporate prayer carries a unique potency in invoking God’s response.

Proverbs 15:29 (NIV)

The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Proverbs 15:29 draws a clear distinction between the response of God to the prayers of the righteous versus the wicked. This verse challenges believers to consider the moral and spiritual dimensions of their lives when engaging in intercession. It emphasizes the importance of a righteous life as a foundation for effective intercessory prayer.

The contrast between the Lord being “far from the wicked” and hearing “the prayer of the righteous” encourages believers to cultivate a lifestyle of righteousness. Proverbs 15:29 prompts believers to view their personal conduct as integral to the effectiveness of their intercession, reminding them that a righteous life aligns with God’s purposes and facilitates a closer connection with Him.

Job 42:10 (NIV)

After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.

Job 42:10 provides a unique perspective on the outcome of intercessory prayer. After enduring intense suffering, Job’s situation changes when he prays for his friends. This verse challenges believers to consider the transformative impact of interceding for others, even in the midst of their own difficulties.

The restoration and blessing that follow Job’s intercession underscore the redemptive nature of praying for others. Job 42:10 prompts believers to view intercessory prayer not only as a means of seeking help for themselves but also as a channel through which God’s restoration and blessings can flow into their lives.

Romans 8:26 (NIV)

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

Romans 8:26 provides comfort and encouragement for believers who may find themselves at a loss for words in their intercessory prayers. The assurance that the Spirit intercedes on behalf of believers, even when they struggle to express their needs, challenges believers to trust in the comprehensive work of the Holy Spirit.

This verse recognizes the limitations of human understanding and articulation in prayer. It prompts believers to approach intercession with humility, acknowledging their dependence on the Spirit’s guidance and intercession. Romans 8:26 underscores the dynamic partnership between believers and the Holy Spirit in the realm of intercessory prayer.

Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:25 refers to Jesus as the eternal intercessor. This verse challenges believers to anchor their confidence in the redemptive work of Christ, who continually intercedes on their behalf. It highlights the assurance of salvation and the completeness of God’s saving power for those who come to Him through Jesus.

The concept of Jesus living to intercede underscores the ongoing and active role of Christ in the lives of believers. Hebrews 7:25 prompts believers to view their own intercessory prayers in the context of Christ’s intercession, recognizing that their prayers are a participation in the ongoing work of redemption initiated by Jesus.

1 Peter 3:12 (NIV)

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

1 Peter 3:12 reinforces the idea that the righteousness of the one praying has an impact on the effectiveness of their prayers. This verse challenges believers to consider the state of their hearts and lives as they engage in intercession. It emphasizes that God’s attention is directed toward the prayers of the righteous, fostering a call for a life marked by righteousness and obedience.

The contrast between God’s attentiveness to the prayers of the righteous and His opposition to those who do evil prompts believers to approach intercessory prayer with a commitment to living in alignment with God’s principles. 1 Peter 3:12 underscores the intimate connection between a righteous life and the efficacy of intercessory prayer.

Psalm 145:18 (NIV)

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

Psalm 145:18 emphasizes the accessibility of God to those who sincerely call on Him. This verse challenges believers to approach intercessory prayer with authenticity and truthfulness. It underscores the importance of genuine and heartfelt communication with God in the context of intercession.

The assurance that the Lord is near to all who call on Him in truth encourages believers to cultivate a transparent and sincere posture in their prayers. Psalm 145:18 prompts believers to view intercession as a relational act, inviting them to approach God with honesty and openness.

Luke 18:1-8 (NIV) – The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

In the Parable of the Persistent Widow, Jesus underscores the importance of persistence in prayer. This passage challenges believers to maintain perseverance in their intercessory efforts, even in the face of delays or apparent unanswered prayers. It encourages a view of intercession as an ongoing commitment rather than a one-time event.

The widow’s persistence in seeking justice prompts the judge to grant her request. This parable challenges believers to view their persistent prayers as a demonstration of faith and trust in God’s faithfulness. Luke 18:1-8 prompts believers to cultivate a resilient spirit in their intercession, trusting that God hears and responds in His perfect timing.

James 5:16-18 (NIV)

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16-18 connects the practice of confessing sins and praying for one another with healing. This passage challenges believers to recognize the interconnection between spiritual health and intercessory prayer. It emphasizes the efficacy of the prayers of the righteous in bringing about healing and restoration.

The encouragement to confess sins to each other fosters a sense of vulnerability and accountability within the community of believers. James 5:16-18 prompts believers to view intercessory prayer as a means of spiritual healing, both individually and collectively, as they support and pray for one another.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 provides a powerful formula for national and communal healing through prayer. This verse challenges believers to recognize the impact of intercession on the well-being of their communities and nations. It underscores the importance of humility, repentance, and seeking God’s face in the context of intercessory prayer.

The promise of forgiveness, healing, and divine intervention in response to heartfelt intercession challenges believers to view their prayers as influential in shaping the destiny of their communities. 2 Chronicles 7:14 prompts believers to engage in intercessory prayer with a broader perspective, recognizing the potential for transformation on a societal level.

What Does the Bible Say About Praying for Others

Love Your Neighbor: Matthew 22:39 (NIV): “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The command to love our neighbors includes a call to intercede for their well-being. Praying for others is an expression of love, demonstrating our care and concern for their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs.

Bearing One Another’s Burdens: Galatians 6:2 (NIV): “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Intercessory prayer is a way of coming alongside others in their challenges and difficulties. By lifting their burdens before God, we participate in fulfilling the law of Christ, which is rooted in love and compassion.

Jesus as the Ultimate Intercessor: Hebrews 7:25 (NIV): “Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

Jesus’ ongoing intercession for believers highlights the importance and effectiveness of intercessory prayer. It emphasizes that our prayers for others align with Christ’s intercession for us.

Prayer for Intercession

Heavenly Father,

In the spirit of love and compassion, we come before You, recognizing the privilege of intercession. Teach us to be vessels of Your grace, lifting up others in prayer.

Holy Spirit, prompt us to pray for all people, that our intercession may contribute to Your redemptive work on a global scale. May our lives be a constant conversation with You, marked by humility, authenticity, and gratitude.

May our intercessory prayers rise as a fragrant offering in Your presence, reflecting our dependence on Your mercy and grace. As we engage in this sacred act, draw us closer to You and deepen our connection with those for whom we pray.

In Jesus’ name, we lift this prayer.