Okay, think about what you just read. Paul asked these believers to pray for him that God would give him the right words to say, and in his case, the words that would help him explain the mystery he spoke of back in chapter 1:9 and other places in this letter. Paul relied on these believers to assist him in his ministry by praying for him.
Note 2 Corinthians 1:11, "And you are helping us by praying for us..." There are other places where requests are made for prayer support. (Note my "Weekly Connections" for this coming week). The point I want you to see here is that the warfare we fight is more often in prayer than in any other activity! Paul seems to stress this by placing the instruction on prayer in verse 18 and this request for prayer here right after he spoke about the armor of God.
We must NEVER underestimate the power of our prayers for the work of God to move forward in effectiveness! I hope the Spirit of God will use my feeble attempts here to stir you to greater praying for God's servants. The fact that Paul spoke of this need should be a strong catalyst to encourage you to spend much time in intercessory prayer for missionaries, pastors, and other Christian workers! But remember what Jesus said in Matthew 9:37,38 NLT - "...The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields." Jesus stressed the need for this kind of praying in His own prayer request!
Do you think your prayers matter? Why would Paul and Jesus ask for you to pray if they didn't know they would be effective?! Let's ask this question, "Do you think the lack of your praying for God's workers has any impact on their ineffectiveness??!!" I think it will be revealed in Heaven what our praying or lack of praying had on the work of God. May you and I dedicate ourselves to greater praying for those who serve. And don't forget yourself as one of those servants!