Even though we don’t have all the answers, it’s critical to know prayer was God’s idea. Two things to keep in mind: 1. God commands me to pray whether I understand how prayer works or not. 2. Whatever God does, He’s consistent with Himself. He won’t deny or contradict Himself.
In this sixth blog about prayer, I borrow insights from Ronald Dunn’s book, Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer.
In Paul’s crash course in pastoral ministry for Timothy, prioritize praying for secular leaders’ roles when people come together. Leaders carry heavy responsibilities and exert powerful influence on citizens’ lives (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Pray for wicked rulers and those we don’t agree with so “we might lead quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:2).
These prayers must include spiritual leaders: pastors, elders, missionaries and evangelists so they can speak courageously and clearly being protected in their private lives (Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:3-4; 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2). Paul didn’t ask to be remembered occasionally but pleaded for continuous, fervent prayer support. Intercession is like a shield that builds a wall of protection around our spiritual leaders like a Secret Service of spiritual bodyguards.
We should direct much prayer to building up believers. Paul’s epistles show how to pray for other Christians. We possess unlimited resources in Christ:
(Ephesians 1:17-19). The “exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead and available to us when we pray!
Ephesians 3:14-19 provides important biblical requests: that they would be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith; that they would be able to comprehend the love of Christ; and that they might be filled with the fullness of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 offers another prayer list in praying for Christians: that their love may abound more and more; that they many approve things that are excellent; that they may be sincere and without offense; that they may be filled with the fruits of righteousness.
Colossians 1:9-12 presents another example: will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will; might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing; will be fruitful in every good work; will increase in the knowledge of God; will be strengthened with all might; and will live a life of continual thanksgiving.
In 1650, Jeremy Taylor wrote a book called The Rules and Exercises of Holy Living that said this about prayer:
"Christ hath put it (the power of prayer) into the hands of men, and the prayers of men have saved cities and kingdoms from ruin; prayer hath raised dead men to life, hath stopped the violence of fire, shut the mouths of wild beasts, altered the course of nature, caused rain in Egypt and drought in the sea. Prayer rules over all gods; it arrests the sun in its course and stays the chariot wheels of the moon; it reconciles our suffering and weak faculties with the violence of torment and the violence of persecution; it pleases God and supplies all our need."
Who are the secular and spiritual leaders that need prayer? What days and times will you pray for them each week? Begin today!
Offer to Pray with Me: Let me know days and times that you’re available to pray with me. I would love to participate in your spiritual life through either video chat or in person.