Intermediate Edition

II. Caring for the Body


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Chapter 26  Part II

Caring for the Body

The care that church members ought to show each other should be one of the defining characteristics of every church, evidencing Christian love. This care should include both spiritual and practical care, with the former largely involving prayer and encouragement.

Pray for Each Other (I): General

Pray constantly for each other

Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people.   Ephesians 6:18 CEV

Pray for those facing persecution

[Paul:] Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.   Philippians 1:18b-19 NET

Paul speaks of the Philippians’ prayers for him while he was imprisoned because of his work for God’s kingdom (cf. v. 17).

Pray for those spreading the gospel

[Paul:] Finally, our brothers and sisters, pray for us, that the Lord’s message may continue to spread rapidly and be received with honor, just as it was among you.   2 Thessalonians 3:1 GNT

Pray for Each Other (II): What to Ask

Ask that other believers will live as God wants

[Paul, to believers:] We pray to God that you will not do anything wrong.   2 Corinthians 13:7a NCV™

Pray for their spiritual growth and perfection

[Paul, to believers:] And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight 10so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.   Philippians 1:9-11 NET

Ask God to help and take care of them

[Solomon, to God:] May you be attentive to your servant’s and your people Israel’s requests for help and may you respond to all their prayers to you.   1 Kings 8:52 NET

[David, to God:] Protect those who love you; because of you they are truly happy.   Psalms 5:11b GNT

Encourage Each Other

Encourage each other

Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.   Hebrews 10:25b GNT

Encourage and strengthen each other by what you say

He [Hezekiah] encouraged them, saying, 7“Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic because of the king of Assyria and this huge army that is with him! We have with us one who is stronger than those who are with him. 8He has with him mere human strength, but the Lord our God is with us to help us and fight our battles!” The army was encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.   2 Chronicles 32:6b-8 NET

When you talk, do not say harmful things, but say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Then what you say will do good to those who listen to you.   Ephesians 4:29 NCV™

Encourage others to remain true to the Lord

When he [Barnabas] arrived, he rejoiced to see what the grace of God had done, and with a hearty determination he continuously encouraged them all to remain faithful to the Lord.   Acts 11:23 ISV

Encourage and strengthen each other by what you do

[Paul, to the believers in Colosse:] I want you to know what a struggle I am going through for you, for God’s people at Laodicea, and for all of those followers who have never met me. 2I do it to encourage them. Then as their hearts are joined together in love, they will be wonderfully blessed with complete understanding. And they will truly know Christ.   Colossians 2:1-2 CEV

[Paul, to believers:] We are speaking in Christ before God, and everything we do, dear friends, is to build you up.   2 Corinthians 12:19b NET

Help Each Other

Be concerned for and compassionate towards each other

[Paul, speaking of the church body:] Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but the members may have mutual concern for one another.   1 Corinthians 12:24b-25 NET

[Paul, to believers:] Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.   Colossians 3:12 ISV

Consequently, help each other

Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.   Galatians 6:2 NET

God is always fair. He will remember how you helped his people in the past and how you are still helping them. You belong to God, and he won’t forget the love you have shown his people.   Hebrews 6:10 CEV

Share what you have with those in need

Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.   Romans 12:13 GW

All who believed were together and held everything in common, 45and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need.   Acts 2:44-45 NET

Pray for persecuted Christians