Do you have good friends of faith? Do you share your joys and struggles in your daily walk with Christ and praises for answered prayers? Paul had that kind of relationship with the Ephesians when he lived among them and it shows in his heartfelt message as he sought to encourage them in their faith. Ephesians 1:15-16. “Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly,” Paul had brought them to faith and was like a proud ‘papa’ over the continued growth of these believers. He was thankful for their lives of faith and prayed for them all the time.
A couple of months ago I was struggling with some health issues and a dear sister in Christ sent me a handmade card with the sentiment “I’m praying for you”. Just receiving her note encouraged me in my walk that day and each day after as I glanced at the card. Saying you’ll pray for someone is the most precious gift you can give them, so don’t say it if you don’t intend to actually pray. Paul was sincere and serious about prayer and he prayed constantly for those new believers in all the cities where he ministered.
Teaching, preaching, witnessing and prayer were all essential parts of Paul’s ministry. Even if we do not feel like we can be teachers or preachers we can all witness to the joy and power of Christ in our lives. We can all pray for those who we encounter who do not know Jesus, for our friends and family, and for specific troubles or circumstances we know people are experiencing. We can pray for our leaders at church, in our city and in our country. Prayer changes things and gives us opportunity to communicate with Father God about the people in our lives. Praying for others takes the focus off ourselves and acknowledges God’s sovereignty over all things. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, we can go directly to God in prayer. He is accessible because of our faith in Jesus.
Today spend some time in prayer for those around you that are hurting, despairing, in poor health, need comfort, strength or are walking down a wrong pathway. Thank God that they are in your life and that you can lift them up in the name of Jesus.