Do You Believe in Prayer?
Though we claim to believe in it, prayer sometimes falls to the list of “the last thing we do” when we are facing a crisis or problem in life. That was not Paul’s practice or belief. For Paul, prayer was the first, middle, and final thing to do!
We have already looked in detail at the prayer that Paul prayed for the Colossians in Chapter One. It would be a life-transforming event for us if we began praying for the spiritual issues of life with the same fervor that we pray for physical ones.
When a child has gone missing, or a young person needs a heart transplant, or a financial crisis or a hurricane is looming on someone’s horizon, calls for urgent prayer abound in our mailboxes and on our social media pages. It becomes a matter of desperation for us when we are seeing the problem and feeling the potential impact of an impending disaster.
But when will we learn to pray with that same zeal and devotion and desperation over the spiritual condition of neighbors and the nations? When will our hearts burn and our internet accounts flood with requests of desperation for what we are feeling for a lost sheep in God’s fold? Or a people group without the Gospel or even a Bible in their language?
Now we’re human, I can hear some say. Of course we are. But that doesn’t mean we should pray limited to our humanity! We are human, and frail, and weak and broken. Yet we have been given a “limitless reach” in prayer.
But listening to our prayer requests I wonder if we really believe that. When our prayer lists go no deeper than Aunt Gertie’s upcoming appendectomy, our prayers may as well be written by the folks who write Hallmark get well cards!
What if we began to see our requests for prayer differently? I wonder if you really believed that, when you pray for a missionary in another country or for an unreached people group that your prayers literally shake the ground spiritually.
When we see the world in the grip of the evil one, have you seen your prayers as ICBMs dropped behind enemy lines? What if numbers of Christians gathered together in a meeting to pray for the persecuted believers in China, sending “weapons of mass intercession” against the persecutor seeking to keep the Chinese people from the Gospel?
Does Satan dread your prayer life? Or does it really just give him a good laugh? Now don’t misunderstand me. I believe all of life is to be brought under the concern and attention of God in prayer. Nothing is too big, or too small. The problem is, we tend to get stuck on “the small stuff.” We can’t pray beyond Uncle Bob’s hangnail because our faith is small and won’t let us. We can’t imagine the global impact we could have from little Fruit Cove, Florida! Pray large, dangerous, world-changing prayers. Paul did.
And his world was changed for eternity!
What’s keeping you from beginning… today?