Tuesday, July 28, 2009

thoughts on prayer

Prayer has been heavy on my heart this last few weeks. This Sunday, God, being God and knowing this.... sent a fill in teacher to our Sunday School class and he chose to speak on prayer. He started by telling us that he was researching in to how Christ prayed and whom he prayed for, then moved into a study on how the apostles prayed and whom they prayed for. He found it very interesting that Christ did not regularly pray for the "lost". He did however, often pray for those whom had been give to him (John 17:9 "I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.)
Then he began to talk about how Paul prayed. He noted that he too prayed for his fellow believer. He then gave us examples of how he prayed for them....He started in Ephesians 1:15-21

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,and what [is] the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated [Him] at His right hand in the heavenly [places], far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

Paul prayed that those he loved and cared for in Ephesus, would grow! That they would have better understanding of who Christ was, and what His work on the cross did for them.
Later in Chapter 3:14-21 He prays for them again.

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what [is] the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen

He prays Christ will dwell with them, that they will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. That they would be rooted and grounded in LOVE.....

I sat in my chair convicted. How many times do I say I will pray for someone and I don't. How many times has my prayer been one of formality and insincerity, instead of falling on my knees in front of God, and truly praying for my fellow believer. And praying these things into their lives..... not just the.... standard out loud prayer of Lord, please heal this sickness or that pain, help Sally find a job..... How often do we do these "safe" prayers to the Lord that follow a format, almost an unwritten etiquette. It is not that I am saying we should not pray for healing or for jobs or any of those things. What I know I have been guilty of, and maybe you have to, is praying to the Lord as if he is some great fix it machine in the sky. How often do we just come to him with needs for others or ourselves. I began to ask myself....... Do I pray for their growth? Do I pray for their wisdom to increase? Do I pray that the Lord would reveal himself to them? Sadly, I must admit that I do not pray that way. Joyfully, I look forward to changing that.

I got to thinking, what would happened if we cried out to God for Him to strengthen other believers? Would we have so much sin in our churches? Would the world be so quick to label us hypocrites? Would our youth be growing up and away from God, instead of closer to him?
Would women be mentoring younger women? Would more men be discipleing other men? Would friends of mine from High School, that were "on fire" for the Lord at one time in their lives, would they still be living on their own with little or no mention of , or daily reliance on God? If I purpose to pray for those who when we were 16 said... "let's hold each other accountable" ...... What could God do with that? How will he change me? How will he grow them?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I do know that with God's help, I intend to radically change the way I pray for people.


  1. Awesomeness. Now i understand why you prayed the lovely personal prayer for Dean and i. Thank you for sharing your heart, my dear. :-)

  2. amen! preach it sister. i was just thinking that the other day as i prayed with a group and realized none of us had actually prayed anything and we all started our prayers with the same phrase or 2- "etiquette" or however you spell that. what a bummer- i'm gonna call you on this in a month or so- i'm putting it in my calendar- and i want you to call me on it too. in one month i wanna see our prayer lives changed and be writing on this silly page you have about how great our God is and all the real prayers he's answered!


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