Tag Archives: Prayer

Praying for Others

The dynamic of prayer in the fellowship of the Saints is a dying art and practice.  Here are some guidelines for the art of what is known as intercession.

in·ter·ces·sion

Moses Prays for Israel
Moses Prays for Israel
/ˌintərˈseSHən/
Noun
  1. The action of intervening on behalf of another.
  2. The action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person.

There are many examples of intercessory prayer in the Bible.  Paul is a good source, he communicated what he prayed to the the people for whom he prayed.  One of the best and most detailed prayer comes from Colossians 1:9-14:

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (NASB)

So here are the items in Paul’s prayer that you can use to pray for others.

  1. Pray that people be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.
  2. Pray that people have spiritual wisdom and understanding.
  3. Pray that people walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
  4. Pray that people please God in every respect.
  5. Pray that people would bear fruit in every good work.
  6. Pray that people would increase in the knowledge of God.
  7. Pray that people would be strengthened with all power so that they would be steadfast and patient.
  8. Pray that people would be filled with joy and would not forget to give thanks to the Father.
  9. Thank God that he qualified them to be a saint in the Light.
  10. Thank God for rescuing them from the domain of Darkness and that they are in the Kingdom of His beloved Son.
  11. Thank God that their sins are forgiven and that they are redeemed.
  12. Thank God that they are in fellowship with you.

Notice that I didn’t do anything special. I just hijacked Paul’s prayer and personalized it.  Paul was praying for actual people in Colossae, pray for the people who sit next to you in church. The following week, share with the person that you prayed for them. Depending on your personal knowledge of the person you are praying for you can be more specific. Depending on your level of study and understanding of the passage you can add detail to your requests.

Some other passages that are intercessory in nature:  Philippians 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:15-21; Ephesians 3:14-21.  List some others in the comments.

 

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Mis-Spoken Prayer

I originally posted this back in March, thought it was worth moving to the top of the blog for

Grace Challenge Day 10

My Dad is a Russian immigrant and English is not his first language.  He prays at all our family functions.  We often make fun of the mistakes that he makes in speaking. For instance,  he (as many people who have English as a second language might do) struggles with the gerund and distinguishing it from a participle.  I love that many of you  English as a first language people are scrambling to Google right now. He often says “take care-ving (taking care) of us.”  Here are some examples of what we are now dubbing “Moisi-ism’s” (His name is Moisi):

  • Celkular phone
  • Macadonian macaronis instead of macadamian macaroons…
  • The fire department checking the hydrogens
  • They got their bookshelf at the stapler instead of staples
  • He cussing us out…
  • Pie Alamo for Pie ala mode…
  • Crackpots for crockpots…
  • They lived till they died….

Recently, I had one of those aha moments during one of his “mis-statements” in prayer.  He meant to say: “I thank you God for all that you do for us” but instead it came out “I thank you God for all that you do to us”.

I was shocked out of my “arrogant-child-internally-begging- my-father-to-not-go-on-too-long-in-prayer-while- deciphering-his-every-English-language-mistake” mindset into a Holy Spirit moment.  God does stuff TO us.  He doesn’t exist to do favors for us, rather he often just sticks stuff to us.  And that is when it hit me.  I was not seeing or speaking correctly in my prayers with regard to the activity of God in my life.

Most of the time this perspective is helpful with regard to difficult stuff God does to us.  The personal problem of evil stuff like why did he let my dad abuse me, or my wife cheat on me, or my child have some incurable disease. Even the lesser evils like my car breaking down.  Mostly in my past I would “protect” God and say that he “allowed” these things. The obvious question is if He “allowed” it, why didn’t He just stop it from happening? and what is the difference between allowing and doing for God?  I find it more helpful now to say that God did it to me.  Here is why.

I trust God (so I say).  He is in control.  I trust God for the future (all things work together for good), so shouldn’t I trust Him for the past (in all things give Thanks)?  In trusting God for the past and to get to thanksgiving, it is better to use “to” than “for”.  “For” implies that I am only thankful for the things that seem to me to be beneficial.  But that is not what I have trouble thanking God for.  I have trouble thanking God for the things that don’t seem beneficial, the suffering.  The phrasing forces me to embrace the suffering of the past as truly a part of God’s hand in my life. When I am able to embrace the suffering of the past as from God I am empowered to move beyond it to the good that is intended through the suffering.

I thank you God for all that you do TO me.

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12 Ways to Pray for Your Children

The following list enables you to concentrate your prayer efforts for your children. One suggested method for this list is to take one area a month and focus on that with your children. This will insure that you covered these significant issues in the course of a year. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS GIVE THANKS FOR YOUR CHILDREN. Include thanks in your prayers always. We need to come to value and honor our children as precious resources from the hand of God.

1. Pray that your children will come to trust Christ as their Savior and Lord early in life (2 Timothy 3:15).

2. Pray for your children’s safety….that God build a protective hedge about them….that they will be hedged in so that they can’t find their way to wrong people/places and wrong people can’t find their way to them (Hosea 2:6)

3. Pray that your children will avoid involvement with counterfeit Christian groups and occult practices….that they will know and embrace the real Christ. (Aberrant Christian groups and cults dilute and pervert the doctrine of Christ).

4. Pray that your children will grasp the truth of Gods word and the way of truth and avoid and renounce deception….that they will grow in knowledge of God and His will.

5. Pray that your children will learn to forgive others and receive forgiveness from others and from God, thus avoiding bitterness.

6. Pray that your children have submissive and respectful attitudes toward those in authority over them, renouncing any rebellion (1 Samuel 15:23). Pray that they would obey God – Parents – Teachers – Government – Church Leaders – Employers.

7. Pray that your children would be humble in their attitude toward God and others. Humility is confidence properly placed – an ability to see self in light of God’s nature and character….that they would avoid pride. Pride is a destructive force in your children’s lives. (Ephesians 6:10; James 4:6-10; 1 Peter 5:1-10; Pro 16:18).

8. Pray that your children will have a hatred for sin (Psalm 97:10)….that they will avoid temptation (I Corinthians10:13). and make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:19). Pray that they will avoid the destruction of addictive habits in their lives (drugs, cigarettes and tobacco, alcohol etc)….that they be caught when guilty (Psalms 119:71) and come with a confessing attitude which receives forgiveness and results in righteousness (James 5:16; I John 1:9)….that they be protected from the evil one (John 17:5).

9. Pray that your children will have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships (Daniel 6:3)…that they would desire the right kind of friends and be protected from wrong friends (Proverbs 1:10,11)…that they would make wise choices while dating and that God would be preparing their mate by keeping them pure and keeping them in the way (2 Corinthians 6:14-17; 1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

10. Pray that they will recognize their position in Christ and as God’s children so that they have a proper perspective concerning their self-esteem. This will give them the strength to turn and God not be easily influenced by peer pressure.

11. Pray that their minds would be filled with good things (Philippians 4:8) and transformed by the renewing of their mind which will give them single-heartedness and a willingness to be sold out Jesus Christ (Rom. 12:1,2; 1 Corinthians 2:16). Pray that they take every thought captive and make it obedient to the Lordship of Christ (2 Corinthians 1:5).

12. Pray that they would fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:8) and trust the Lord (Proverbs 3:5). These principles will insure that your children make decisions based not on fear of circumstances and will not have irrational fear – but will be secure in their lives as a result of trusting God!

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I Will Pray for You

This is our Worship Focus at Nuevo Community Church for March 4, 2012.  Text for the morning:  John 17.

“I will pray for you.”

Those are powerful words.  But like all good things, sometimes they have a dark side.  These powerful words are sometimes simply discussion “enders”.   At the end of a difficult conversation, or an uncomfortable one, “I will pray for you” becomes our transition away from the discomfort.  Sometimes it is reduced to the same platitude class of sayings as “How are you?”  We really don’t mean it; it is just how we open a conversation or greet people.  So, unfortunately, “I will pray for you” is sometimes dismissive.  I hope that isn’t true, or at least that this will challenge us to actually mean it when we use the phrase.

Even better than the phrase “I will pray for you” is what Jesus does in John 17.  In this instance, Jesus actually prayed for his disciples in their presence and John (God bless him) had the presence of mind to record it for us!  Paul practiced this as well.  He told people how he was praying for them.  Colossians 1:9ff is one of my favorite templates for praying for other people.

So, let’s deal with first things first.  Don’t use the phrase “I will pray for you” unless you mean it.  Second, when appropriate, tell people how you are praying for them. This built-in accountability will make a difference. It is hard to compound lies, that is, if I have made it a habit of turning “I will pray for you” into a meaningless platitude, it is harder to get around the habit of giving details of said prayers.   Third, today, know that Jesus prays for you.  He intercedes on your behalf.  He has your best interest in mind and He is all about bringing that best interest to pass.  As you worship, be grateful for a praying Jesus who prays for your well-being.

Jesus is praying for you.

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Prayer for True Knowledge

Here is a prayer written by Thomas a Kempis:

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights Thee most,
To value what is precious in Thy sight,
To hate what is offensive to Thee.
Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men;
But to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual,
And above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of Thy will. Amen
(The Moral Compass, William J. Bennett p. 754)

and a corresponding prayer for knowledge by the apostle Paul:

For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints,do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will 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 surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.
(Ephesians 1:15-19 )

After Paul gives thanks he prays that God may give to the Ephesians a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ and that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened.  All of those phrases are knowledge phrases.  He asks that they will be enlightened in three ways:  hope, riches, greatness.  Paul is assuming here that their is a tendency in believers to have misconceptions about appropriate hope, true riches, and the nature of greatness.  Listen to my sermon from this week (will post the link when the sermon is up) for a perspective on true hope, riches and greatness.

A major thrust of the believers prayers should be in the arena of the mind and to renew our mind so that it conforms to the mind of Christ.  Prayer can be defined as mind work.  It is the place where I examine my mind, my thinking, my values, my  hopes, my philosophy, my understanding of truth, my wisdom.  Hence Paul prays that we have wisdom and that the veil over our minds be pulled back and that our hearts may be brought into the light, that is out of the darkness.

Paul had a practice of sharing his prayers with his readers.  As a result we have a treasure of examples of how to pray for one another.  I have made it a practice to use the prayers of Paul as a template for how to pray for others.  Here are some good ones:  Ephesians 1:15-23; Ephesians 3:14-20; Colossians 1:9-12; Colossians 4:2-4; Philippians 1:9-11; Philemon 1:4-6.  Pray for one another.

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Prayer Meetings for Gas???

Prayer services to be held at St. Louis gas stations to thank God for lower prices

July 28, 2008

ST. LOUIS – Two prayer services will be held at St. Louis gas stations to thank God for lower fuel prices and to ask that they continue to drop. Darrell Alexander, Midwest co-chair of the Pray at the Pump movement, says prayer gatherings will be held Monday afternoon and evening at a Mobil station west of downtown St. Louis.

Participants say they plan to buy gas, pray and then sing “We Shall Overcome” with a new verse, “We’ll have lower gas prices.”

An activist from the Washington D.C. area, Rocky Twyman, started the effort, saying if politicians couldn’t lower gas prices, it was time to ask God to intervene.

The group thinks the prayer is helping, saying prices are starting to fall below $4 a gallon.

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