None of us as Christians are independent of another sister or brother’s prayer. As Christians it is our duty to pray for each other, our pastors and those that are in authority, because we are all imperfect people seeking the perfect God for His directions.
Paul a servant of the Lord who said he “is one born out of a due time’ because he wasn’t apart of the disciples who were following Christ and he was opposing the gospel until Jesus met him and gave him a life changing experience. After Paul’s conversation he wrote most of the New Testament scriptures and lived a sold out life to Jesus Christ. In his letters Paul admonish the saints and he also at times was requesting prayers. Here are some prayers Paul’s requested. If we look carefully at them we will see how important they are and we can use them as examples when praying for the church and those in authority. I will start with the scripture I was reading that inspired me to do this writing.
2 Thessalonians 3: 1-2 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith” Here we see Paul requesting prayer as he faced resistance to the gospel. This could be coming from those in authority and even the regular man on the street whose hearts are corrupt towards the truth. We can imagine the reasons behind the choice of words, “unreasonable and wicked men”. These may be heated discussions where those who opposed the gospel could not be persuaded to believe the truth. Their communication may seems to lack good conscience towards the truth or Paul’s word could be exposing the evil they were involved in. There may even be threats involved but Paul was confident in God’s protection but he knew prayer was the communication line to God for divine intervention to pull down the strongholds. Paul see the need for prayer reinforcement as they contend with these forces.
Romans 15: 30-32 “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed” Here again we see Paul was telling the saints to be fervent in prayer on his behalf to God. He specifically used the word ‘strive together with me’ this shows that there was a battle going on, Paul was facing great opposition in Judaea. We remember Jesus told the disciples to go tarry in Jerusalem until they receive power, it was then repeated in Act 1: 8” But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” From the scriptures we see that Judea was mentioned as one of the places the disciples were commissioned to preach the gospel. The Bible specifically mentioned “in all Judaea” not just Judaea. John who was the fore-runner of Jesus Christ when he was preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, the Bible states in St. Matthew 3: 5 “Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea and all the region round about Jordan” Even during Jesus’ ministry Judaea was mentioned. In Luke 6 Jesus healed the man whose right hand was withered and later in verse 17 the Bible stated that “a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases” Also we see in Luke 7 where a widow woman’s only son died and Jesus raised him from the dead in verse 17 the Bible states “And this rumor of him went forth throughout all Judaea and throughout all the region round about” There seems to be a measure of unbelief among the saints in Jerusalem as Paul in his letter requested prayer that his service may be accepted among the saints. The world around seem to have its impact on the saint or members are not yet fully grounded in the truth.
The question we could ask is why had Judea received the gospel so many times with signs and wonders and yet we see Paul requesting prayer because of impact of their unbelief? I think this if this question is on our mind then an answer could be that we need to pray with understanding. We don’t just enter into prayer because of what is seeing by the natural eyes. We need to know what is behind the unbelief of Judaea a place where they experience miracle signs and wonders. We need to know what is the open door for that ruling spirit to dominate the lives of the people If we were to drive out that spirit and don’t know what doors to shut then we will still have a problem.
1 Timothy 2: 1-2 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty”. Paul knew the ways of getting God’s attention through supplication, prayer intercessions and thanksgiving. As believer our duty is to pray without ceasing and be strategic about it like Paul. The breakthroughs we need comes at different levels. We ask, seek and knock as we contend with the different oppositions. First Paul said this need to be done – for all men which covers a humans. Paul went on to highlight kings and those in authority because they are the ones who set up and regulate the laws. The enemy always try to influence and blind their eyes to spiritual reality so he can cause the nation to walk in sin and come under a curse. Paul knew that giving thanks will please God. Thanksgiving opposes pride and draw in the presence of God and these prayers will nullify the evil powers because where the presence of God is there is liberty. Paul understood the scripture in 1 Chronicles 7: 14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. When the land is healed we will live in peace, and harmony. Our change of heart and prayers can bring us prosperity which will become the norm in a God fearing society.
STRATEGIES OF COMMUNICATION TO GOD PAUL ASKED THE SAINTS TO USE TO BE EFFECTIVE WHEN PRAYING FOR ALL PEOPLE, CHURCH LEADERS AND THOSE IN AUTHORITY Paul first acknowledge the saint knowing that through the redemptive power in the Blood of Jesus they have the authority to pull down evil that is fighting the gospel. In his acknowledgment Paul said “pray for us” Here are spiritual strategies Paul asked the saints to be used 1 Supplication – This is an act of pleading or begging earnestly for something in a humble manner knowing that the answer or the supply is in the hand of God 2 Prayers – The Bible tells is to pray without ceasing, it is a weapon that is always feared by the enemy. The saints are encourage to use it as the method where divinity and humanity communicate. In continuous prayer we are expected to receive an answer so we are able to understand the plans of God and do according to His instructions. 3 Intercession – This is the act of stepping in and doing something on the behalf of another person. In this case we will be talking to God on behalf of the person who needs prayer reinforcement to be victorious. Intercession can also come with crying as we are become so in tune we begin to feel the hurt of others. 4 Giving of thanks – Thanksgiving shows gratitude, it is a form of worship that cause the glory of God to tabernacle with an individual thus causing many answers to prayer to come forth. It highlights how grateful our heart are to God for what He had done and also what we are expecting Him to do. It show who we have believe in that had done a wonderful work for us. Giving thanks is also an act of faith which adds to our blessings. Remember in the Bible Jesus healed ten leper only one return to give thanks and Jesus asked where are the nine this means we are expected to give thanks.