I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy . . . ~ Philippians 1:3, 4 (ESV)
READING: Philippians 1:1-11
The person who has taught me the most about prayer is the Apostle Paul. His prayer life is so rich that some of his prayers are included in God’s holy word. Most of these are prayers for the Christians in new congregations. (See Phil. 1:9 – 11;Eph. 1:16 – 23; 3:14 – 21; Col. 1:9 – 12; II Thes. 1:11, 12; Philemon 6).
Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned about praying for other people:
Pray for spiritual matters more than physical. While it’s good to pray for people’s ailments and finances, Paul’s prayers are about becoming more loving (Phil. 1:9); knowing God more deeply (Eph. 1:17); walking worthy of Christ (Col. 1:10); and sharing the gospel effectively (Philemon 6).
Pray for eternal matters more than temporal. Of course Paul cared about what was going on in their lives now, but he constantly envisioned eternity. He prayed about “the day of Christ” (Phil. 1:10) and their glorious inheritance in heaven (Eph. 1:18; Col. 1:12).
Continue to point them to the glory of Christ. He prayed that their lives might be “to the glory and praise of God” (Phil. 1:11) and that Christ’s name might be glorified in them (II Thes. 1:12).
Let them know you love them and are praying for them. “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Eph. 1:16).
Church planters are usually people of action, but may God help us also to be people of prayer – like the Apostle Paul.
Father, Thank You for Paul’s example as a prayer warrior. Teach me how to pray for the people You’ve given me. Amen.
Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) “Equips Leaders to Plant 5 Million Churches Worldwide.” Learn more