My pastor, Hans Frei, gave me something to think about this past Sunday. He preached about the way we should pray according to Ephesians chapter 1, and I have to say, his admonitions have invaded and disrupted my prayers this week.
So much of what I pray for is temporal: “Please heal this person.” “Please comfort that person.” “Please protect my family.” “Please prosper my kids.” What about thanking God for who He is and what He has already done thru Christ? We could spend a lifetime just acknowledging and practicing contentedness in that.
Hans went on to challenge us to go beyond praying for temporal things and to pray for the work He is doing in the spirit. Instead of praying that our kids will prosper, it is critical that we also be praying for their deeper awareness of God, for example.
I was reminded of the very first line of Romans 10 that we just read a couple of days ago. Regardless of how much Paul disagreed regarding law versus faith, his number 1 priority was praying for their salvation.
How do we pray for others? Prosperity? Healing? Comfort? How often do we pray for salvation? It’s the A-number-1 thing that a person needs! Do we pray that God will give our brothers and sisters – even ourselves – the courage and boldness to present the Gospel when prompted by the Holy Spirit? Do we pray the Holy Spirit fills our mouths with the words necessary as He promised He would do?
Of course, it is absolutely appropriate to pray for temporal things. But I don’t think we should forget that Matthew 6:8 tells us He already knows what we need before we ask. Let’s add the salt – the flavor – of Kingdom concerns.
I would love to know your thoughts.