We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,
remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love
and steadfastness of hope in our Lord.
(1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: ARE WE PRAYING?
Recently, I was talking with a few guys about Philippians 2, where in verse four Paul says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
We talked about how to do this well, and one idea we discussed was praying more for other people. If you think about it, how much we pray for others is often a good indicator of how much we care for them.
So, with that still in my mind, I came across 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, where Paul says he is always thanking God and constantly praying for others.
Paul set the example for us in caring for the church and pouring out his life so that others could know and follow God. His genuine care spills out onto every page of the letters he wrote to those he loved. A big part of his care for others flowed out of his passionate, intercessory prayer on their behalf.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: A CHALLENGE
So here is my challenge to you:
- Take a moment to get quiet before God and evaluate what percentage of your prayer is focused on you, and what percentage is focused on others.
- Is the focus of your prayer mainly on you? If so, ask the Lord to give you a passion and genuine desire to intercede for others.
- Spend some time writing out a list of those you want to pray for, asking God to prompt your heart with names and faces of those who need prayer.
- You will find your heart being knit to those you bring before the throne. You may never know what those prayers accomplish in their lives, but we know that “the prayer of a righteous person avails much!” (James 5:16)
- Set aside a day, or a couple of days a week to pray solely for others. Pore over your list and passionately intercede on their behalf.
- Pray that God would enlarge your heart and broaden your perspective through these times, enabling you to see the things He is doing in and through those around you.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER CAN BRING JOY
My prayer is that we would be a people who passionately pray for each other and thus experience the joy that comes with seeing God do amazing things!
1 Thessalonians 1:2-3/Are We Praying? first published at RootsCC.com on October 22, 2020. Published with permission.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What does intercessory prayer mean to you?
- Ask the Lord to give you a passion and genuine desire to intercede for other today.
- Who can you pray for by name today? Consider writing them a #PenToPaper note to encourage them.
Dave Elliff is lead pastor at Roots Community Church in Seattle. He and his wife Mary are from Little Rock, Arkansas, and have been married since 2012. They have four children, who each have their own hilarious personalities and bring their parents much joy!
Before church planting, Dave spent three years on staff with a college ministry at the University of Oklahoma. He then moved to Southeast Asia for several years where he helped plant a church of university students. It was there that God began growing Dave’s passion for the local church and where he started to see the need for new churches. While completing his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he and Mary began praying about where God might be calling them to plant their lives.
They firmly believe God has placed them in Seattle and have a desire to see those who don’t know Christ find Him and become multiplying disciples. In their “spare time,” Dave and Mary enjoy drinking good coffee, being outdoors, and playing with their kids.
33 Biblical "One Anothers"
Pray through these 33 One Another Verses, meditating on what it means to “love one another deeply from the heart” as we learn to selflessly walk each other home.