We are to pray for ourselves and for all people, especially for God’s Church, mission work, the servants of the Word, our government, and also for our enemies.
1 Tim. 2:1-2: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
Col. 4:2-3: Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ.
Matt. 5:44: Pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
We are not to pray for the dead, for the time of grace ends at death, and after that, our prayers would have no effect on the state of the dead. Neither have we a command from God to pray for the dead.
Heb. 9:27: It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
2 Cor. 5:10: We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Luther: “We are to preserve the funeral customs, and weep with those who weep, because they have lost their dear friends, and express our sympathy to them, but not in such a manner, that we pray for the dead.” (Explanation of Genesis, 1540, on the basis of Gen. 35:20).
Assignment: Read about those who prayed: Luke 18:13: The Publican prayed for himself; Gen. 18:23-32: Abraham prayed for Sodom; Job. 42:10: Job prayed for his friends; Dan. 6:5-13 and 9:3-20: Daniel prayed for God’s people; Matt. 15:22-28: The Canaanite woman prayed for her daughter; Luke 23:34: Jesus prayed for His enemies; Acts 7:60: Stephen prayed for those who stoned him.