Friday, December 14, 2012

who are you praying for?


One of my biggest “pet peeves” about Christians is the fact that we rarely pray for those we say we will pray for.  Someone asks you to pray, and you say yes.  Did you pray?  You hear about a need or someone struggled, and you first thought is that you should pray for them.  Do you?

I believe that when someone asks you to pray for them the best time to pray is at that moment.  Whether it is out loud or quiet, stop and pray at that moment.  Let people know that you are praying for them.

James 5:16
 NASB
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.  The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

who are you praying for?
 A couple years ago I met someone who asked their waitress when they were eating at a restaurant how they could pray for them.  I have been doing this for sometime, and it has given me many opportunities to witness, opportunities to encourage Christians, and even many opportunities to be a blessing to more people than just the waitress.  I love this.

What got me thinking about this was a test out of the blue from a friend I haven’t seen or heard from in a long while.  The text message simply said, “How can I pray for you this weekend?”  Because of who it came from I know that this dude will be praying for me and our church.

Prayer encourages people.  Prayer opens doors that are closed.  Prayer places the emphasis on God and helps us to look to and trust Him.  Prayerlessness leads to a lack of power and a warped view of God.  Much prayer leads to courage and greater power as well as a healthy view of God.  We must be people of prayer!

As I read through the Bible there are many places or situations that stir me.  Daniel chapter 9 is such a place where the prophet prayed for the people he served, and Daniel connected to God personally and as a leader of people.  Read this passage at this link: Daniel 9.  Here are some points from that chapter:

4 -- I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, you are a great and awesome God!  You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.

God is in control, total control.  Prayer helps us declare that without God we fail.

8 -- O Lord, we and our kings, princes, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.

Confessing sin and shame makes us deal with the negative and the flaws of being human so that we can enjoy the fact that we are forgiven and free from the penalty of sin.

16 -- In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain. All the neighboring nations mock Jerusalem and your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors.

Pray specifically.  Don’t be vague or general in your request.  God knows you heart, and we will be wrong even in our prayers at time.  Yet when we are confident, God answers our prayers even more.

9 -- But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him.

That is the character of our God.  Prayer connects us to God and keeps our focus on Him.  Keep that focus. 

Who are you praying for? 

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the power of God

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