Saturday, November 14

Pray for me!

Scripture: Job 41-42, 2 Corinthians 1-2

2 Corinthians 1:11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

Observation

Paul describes the desperate straits he was in, that he feared for his life and had to rely completely on God to deliver him.  Yet he wasn’t alone—his friends were praying for him.  They were “helping us by praying for us.”  And God answered those prayers.

I don’t pretend to understand why some prayers seem to be answered and others not.  In Acts 12, why was James killed and Peter delivered, when I’m sure the church prayed for both?  I don’t know.  But I know that Paul believed our prayers helped, that God heard and answered prayers—and I believe that too.  Consider these other references from Paul:

Romans 15:30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 6:19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

Philippians 1:19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.

It is clear that Paul valued the prayers of others.  He asked for them, and considered them to be helping him and joining him in his work.

Application

Two things:

First, I want to pray for others, join them in their struggle, help them in their work.  I’ll take some time to do that today.  I’m encouraged to know that my prayers make a difference!  They are helping!

Second, I welcome prayer from others.  I need the help too, particularly now!  Pray for me!  Pray that I will use my time wisely and that God can maximize my influence for His purposes.  Pray that I will lead wisely and well, that I can make disciples who make disciples, develop leaders who develop leaders, and plant churches that plant churches!

Prayer: Lord, help me today (and every day) to pray—and to help others by my prayers.  Lead me Holy Spirit—pray through me!  And give me partners who will pray for me!