Sometimes when Jesus needed to pray He would ask certain people to pray with Him. He never asked a Pharisee, a rabbi or member of the Sanhedrin to join Him. It was always one of His disciples. No religious zealot, just someone with simple faith.
In Luke chapter 8, there’s a story of a man named Jairus and his 12 year old daughter who was deathly ill. This father throws himself at the feet of Jesus and begs Him to come straightaway and heal her. But Jesus is in the midst of a pressing crowd. They are pushing and shoving. A woman with a twelve year history of a blood issue gets healed as she touches His garment. During all of this commotion, a messenger from Jarius’ house arrives to inform this father not to bother the Master (Jesus) any longer because his child has died. Jesus overhears this and proceeds to Jarius’ house anyway. When He arrives, He immediately forbids anyone to enter the house with Him except for three of His disciples, Peter, John and James, as well as the child’s parents.
Most Christians are familiar with the story of Jarius’ daughter, but miss the significance of the part where Jesus only allows certain people to pray with him. In fact, when He had said that the child was not dead, but sleeps, the mourners there had laughed at Him. Jesus throws them out of the house. I never thought much about this until a wonderful Bible teacher pointed it out. Why wouldn’t Jesus allow anyone in the house but His disciples? Because when we pray a prayer of faith, it’s important to have only Believers present. Christians are never to pray with unbelievers, members of a false religion or a cult. God does not hear the prayers of the spiritually lost except for the prayer of repentance.
If we pray with unbelievers, people who believe that Jesus is an angel, one of many prophets or just a good, moral teacher and not God the Son, we will not have a prayer of agreement. You will have people who have a myriad of religious beliefs or none at all. Many Christians make the mistake of asking friends, relatives, even strangers to pray with or for them, not stopping to think what these people actually believe about God. Do they believe in the deity of Jesus? Do they pray in His name?
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked His disciples to pray with Him for one hour. (they fell asleep instead) But the point is, Jesus never asked anyone other than His followers to pray with Him.
We too need to ask only Believers to pray with and for us.
BTW, Jesus did raise Jairus’ daughter back from the dead.