People pray because they need to. We know that without God’s grace and favour, we may not be delivered from that need. To pray is to expect that things will change. Even though we may not see it coming to pass in the immediate, just by knowing that God has heard our prayer, there is hope that He will respond.
We must not think that when godly men and women at their parting or otherwise, desire our prayers, and say, “I pray you pray for me,” or, “remember me in your prayers,” that these are words of course (though I do not deny, but that many do so use them, and so doing they take the name of God in vain); but we should be persuaded, that out of the abundance of their feeling of their own wants they speak unto us, and so be willing by our prayers to help to supply them. This duty of prayer ought to be carefully performed when we have promised it unto any upon such notice of their estate. For as all promises ought to be kept, yea, though it be to our own hindrance, so those most of all that so nearly concern them. And as if when any should desire us to speak to some great man for them, and we promise to do it, and they trust to it, hoping that we will be as good as our words; it were a great deceit in us to fail them, and so to frustrate their expectation; so when any have desired us to speak to God for them, and upon our promise they would comfort themselves over it, if we should by negligence deceive them, it were a great fault in us, and that which the Lord would require at our hands, though they should never know of it. Therefore, as we ought daily to pray one for another unasked, as our Saviour Christ hath taught us, “O our Father which art in heaven,” etc., so more especially and by name should we do it for them that have desired it of us. And so parents especially should not forget their children in their prayers, which daily ask their blessing, and hope to be blessed of God by their prayers. Secondarily, if we should neglect to pray for them that have desired it at our hands, how could we have any hope that others whom we have desired to pray for us should perform that duty unto us? Nay, might not we justly fear that they would altogether neglect it, seeing we do neglect them? and should it not be just with God so to punish us? according to the saying of our Saviour Christ, “With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Matthew 7:2. And I remember that this was the saying of a reverend father in the church, who is now fallen asleep in the Lord, when any desired him to pray for them (as many did, and more than any that I have known), he would say unto them, “I pray you, pray for me, and pray that I may remember you, and then I hope I shall not forget you.” Therefore if we would have others pray for us, let us pray for them.—Nicholas Bownd.
The LORD answer you in the day of trouble! The name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary, and give you support from Zion! May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! [Selah] May he grant you your heart’s desire, and fulfil all your plans! May we shout for joy over your victory, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfil all your petitions! – Psalm 20:1-5