Pray for us…
“Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may be restored to you very soon.” (Hebrews 18-19)
“I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf…” (Romans 15:30)
“…as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” (2 Corinthians 1:11)
“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.” (Ephesians 6:18-20)
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.” (Colossians 4:2-4)
Had you ever noticed before how often Paul asks the churches he planted to pray for him? I had not. I think as Saul the Pharisee became more and more Paul the Missionary to the Gentiles, he saw his own dependence on prayer. A Christian trying to run without prayer is like trying to read a sundial without the sun, it just doesn’t work. But these verses I listed above are not about Paul’s personal prayer life, but upon his continual request that people should pray for him. His dependence on prayer had exceeded what he could do on his own. He needed the prayers of the people he loved to sustain him.
One of the big dangers for Christians in general and Pastors in particular is to forget the importance of requesting prayer. Much like asking for help, I am more likely to offer help than request help. It may just be the way I am wired. And in the same way, by never asking, I never provide an opportunity for others to bless me. “We should never allow those to whom we minister to imagine that we are somehow super-Christians who do not have the same temptations as they do and identical dependence upon God. …No Christian knows how much he owes to God for the prayers of others, and not least shepherds and teachers.” (On Being a Pastor, Prime & Begg pp.84) So let me take this opportunity to ask for your help spiritually. Please pray for all of our leadership but especially for me! And for those who have been praying for us, let me say a sincere thank you. You have helped and blessed me in ways I may never know in this world. Thank you for your prayers.