God has been bringing me back to the prayers of Jesus, Paul, and the saints gone before us. I have been increasingly convicted and challenged spiritually to be praying more intentionally for my brothers and sisters in Christ, those I know, and those I do not know personally. I was compelled to pray for those who would be reading here and my book as well. I have felt prompted by the Spirit to pray that they would be drawn more to the Lord, to be challenged in an edifying way to seek God more in every compartment of their lives.
As I have been meditating more and more on this, God has been revealing a false authenticity that exists in the larger church today. I have been in the “Christian Community” all of my life. That being said, I confess that I have failed to be consistent in praying in the Spirit like Paul for all my brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ.
I have had deep seasons where I have prayed more than others, and honestly, have certain friendships that are truly more Christ-centered than others, but my heart has an unquenchable yearning for more of my friendships to be that intentional. They are SO rich! Do you desire that too?
And I deeply want you to experience the richness that comes from interceding together and on behalf of a brother or sister. My heart desires to see my children praying like this for one another, not because mom prompts them too, but because the Holy Spirit does.
BUT it starts with me. It starts with me praying out loud with them, for others in front of them.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now, at last, succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you–that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Romans 1:8-12, ESV
Paul prays for his friends without ceasing and for the purpose of imparting a spiritual gift of encouragement.
Question/Lessons to teach:
We should be praying for our friends as Paul did and be intentional about bringing encouragement to our brother and sisters.
Do you pray for your friends or brothers and sisters like Paul?
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge–even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed among you–so that you are not lacking any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 1:4-8, ESV
Paul again thanks God for his brothers and sisters in Christ! Praying specifically for spiritual and physical gifts of speech, proclamation of Christ and for knowledge of the truth revealed in Christ.
We should be thanking God for our brothers and sisters in Christ regularly also. Are we, are our children, allowing God to do this work in others lives or are we labeling others and not seeing God’s good works in their lives after we pray for them?
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven…from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Colossians 1:3-12, ESV
There is a theme in many of these prayers: TEAM!
Paul is praying for God to equip the saints with knowledge, wisdom, understanding, strength to endure, patience, joy and the ability to give thanks so that they may bear spiritual fruit as they care for the saints all over the world. Paul is praying for equipping so God can be more glorified through them and then praising God when he hears of the fruit.
Do we pray regularly for our friends to have wisdom, knowledge, and to bear fruit and then do we rejoice with them when they do bear fruit? Is it difficult for us to rejoice with our brothers and sister? Why?
“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into the flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:3-7, ESV
Obviously, this is massively encouraging to mothers and grandmothers. This is one of my favorite legacy inspiring verses. Also, Paul mentions laying on of hands.
Are we going to leave a legacy of prayer?
Do we keep our faith too personal? Paul was passing on his faith as he shared openly with the saints in the churches and people everywhere.
What about laying on of hands? Do we typically have the freedom and inspiration today to come together in prayer in such a way where we are together, in person, not over Facebook, holding hands together, agreeing in prayer together, and praying blessings on each other?
Click on the image to check out my Bible study on Biblical Friendships!
There are many more verses equally inspiring! I encourage you to look them up!
May you be built up in Christ more and more, daily, as you join with other followers of Christ more authentically and intentionally praying for one another and lifting one another up in an edifying way.