Ephesians 6:18-20 – praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul wanted the believers in Ephesus to be praying for other believers because Paul himself knew that the power of prayer had made a big difference in his own life and ministry. Paul witnessed the gospel opportunities that came to him and recognized them as answered prayers that were made on his behalf. He was even so bold in this passage that he asked for continued prayer for himself. This is something that few people are comfortable doing today. They have many needs that prayer would answer, but they are so afraid to ask anyone to pray for them. Not so with the Apostle Paul. He knew the call on his life was one that brought great difficulty and he was humble enough to know that he needed the support of prayer. What would this life be like if you actually prayed for people rather than complained about them? Instead of pointing out someone’s flaws and shortcomings, take those issues to God and ask Him to help them. Not one of us is perfect. We all have problems that we wish we did not have, but that is what keeps us dependent on the Lord.
For many of us, prayer is not immediately the first thing we do for others. This is especially when others do something we don’t like or say something that offends us. The majority of our prayers are about ourselves and our own wants and needs. Things like, “God please bless my day” or “Lord I need help at work” or “Father God, meet my needs.” All of these are prayers we should be praying for, but prayer must never stop there. Praying for someone else is the single most effective way to impact their life. Praying blessings for your boss, praying wisdom for your teachers, praying boldness for your pastors and praying grace for your enemies are all necessary in order to see God move in a supernatural way. Your challenge this week is to get on your knees and go to the Lord in prayer not only for yourself, but for people you know that could use some prayer support. If I would pray for every person in my church and if every person in my church would pray for me, that would be a whole lot of prayer that God would be able to answer in our church. Pray for your pastors and pray for your leaders, and ask God to bless their lives this week and every week. They certainly would appreciate and covet your prayers.