Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-20
18 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. 19Pray 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, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak. –Ephesians 6:18-20
Praying for others keeps them in our minds and hearts as while as resting them securely in each of our relationships with God. Although most of my family lives within a hundred miles of me, I do not see them very often. I know what some of them are doing because they post interesting tidbits on Facebook. I talk to my brother and sister by phone routinely. The time I spend with God about each of them each day keeps me connected to them as we all shuffle through our busy schedules.
The same is true regarding prayers for our brothers and sisters in Christ’s service. We practice intercessory prayer each Sunday morning, in perhaps more of a formal manner than some would like, because we only call out the names of people for whom we are asking special prayers or short phrases about situations in our community or our world. While we may not know the particulars of a situation we trust in the faith of the one who does and join in solidarity with them to own their concern without needing to know it. God knows the need. Most of our Sunday school classes follow a practice of taking prayer requests and in these more intimate settings more information can be shared, if that is helpful.
I must confess though that most of these prayer requests relate to ill health or other crises. Ephesians in our scripture today is calling on us to intentional prayer for individual ministries and collective ministries. I must confess I cannot remember many times having anyone ask for prayer for God to enable their service in Christ’s name. We may prayer for the Pastor or the church in general and I have prayer for friends who had expressed fear of speaking in a public service. I wonder what would result if in our times of intercessory prayer, we shared our individual needs for ministering and those hearing such request prayed with as much dedication for ministry concerns as they would for a health concern.
Prayer: Lord, bless each of us as we answer your call to ministry. Grant us courage to follow your will and enable us with the skills and talents we might need to accomplish it. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.