January 25, 2015 Radio Program Manuscript
Recently I came across a verse that caused me to step back a moment. 1 Sam 12:23, “Far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you…”
I had never contemplated that not praying for someone could be a sin against GOD. After some reflection I realized God has chosen to accomplish His will in answer to the prayers of His own. This means Christians are to pray for one another as Paul requested several times (Eph 6:18-19; 1 Thess 5:25). If we neglect to pray for others we are being disobedient AND letting down our Christian family.
It is interesting that the prayers of Paul recorded in Scripture never ask God to change people’s situations or circumstances… no matter how difficult they were. The same goes for Peter. Instead they prayed for them know Christ & model holiness in their situation.
What we find in Scripture is that when we pray God gives us what we would have asked for if we knew everything He knows. God is much more concerned with our holiness & godliness than our temporal circumstances. God’s goal is to conform us to the image of Christ (Ro 8:29), which He will accomplish in the manner He deems best.
With these things in mind, I suggest we consider two things: 1) The importance of praying for others (And ourselves) on a regular basis; 2) The essential nature of praying as God would have us to. My goal for the rest of today is to suggest how to accomplish these two things.
First, let’s become purposeful about prayer, especially since God chooses to accomplish His will in answer to prayer. Second, choose to pray for others often. Last, choose to pray for ourselves as much as we pray for others. Now… w/ those in mind, let me give you a way to pray for 7 days… 1 week.
I have seven passages that can be prayed in as little as a few minutes several times a day OR longer if you so desire. What I’m going to do is give you each passage… them pray it so you’ll know what it sounds like. Then you can implement them as you’d like.
Sunday: 2 Cor 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Monday: Eph 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe
Tuesday: Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Wednesday: Phil 2:3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus… 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Thursday: Col 1:9 And so, 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, 10 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. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Friday: Phil 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Saturday: Ro 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Praying this way for others… AND YOURSELF… will give you direction and assurance you are praying consistent with God’s will. Prayer is NOT powerful, but the God who answers prayer is. Length is not as important as content when you pray. So pray for yourself and others… that will make God smile.