This post is a follow up to Prayer Isn’t Important (2/18/2010). The basis for today’s thoughts come from what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 1:11,
You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.
Paul writes this at the end of a description when he thought he was about to die (2 Cor 1:8-10). Yet he understood that the extreme hardship he and Timothy experienced was for the purpose of making them rely on God instead of themselves. (Pause!) Did you get Paul’s point? Hardship is to MAKE US rely on God and not ourselves!
God’s will is to put us in such a position that the ONLY hope we have is Him. God will drive us down and place such pressure upon us until the ONLY person we look to for help is Him. That is a grace gift from God… for there is no better place to be but to completely, totally, and whole-heartedly place all our hope in Him. Now to v 11…
Paul places a responsibility upon brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for other believers by writing, “You also MUST HELP US by prayer.” The reason Christians must pray one for another is for God to be glorified. God’s glory is increased when many pray on the behalf of a fellow believer who is in dire straights with no where else to turn AND GOD DELIVERS THEM in answer to His people’s prayers.
Until we believe God is our ONLY help… hope… and/or answer, we will not pray anything more than… “God help Susie,” or “God bless Sam.” Until our heart identifies closely with our brother or sister in need AND we are convinced that only God can deliver them, we will not pray fervently. In short… nothing is important until it is personal… and that includes prayer!
Look back a few days, or weeks, or months. How engaged has your prayer life been? As preachers are fond of saying, “God must be our first thought, not our last resort.” That sounds good and preaches well. But I’d rather say, “God must our first thought because there is no other resort.”