Monday, December 14, 2015

Missionary Prayer and Spiritual Warfare

“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; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.” - Romans 15:30-32

The apostle Paul firmly believed in the necessity of the prayers of the saints to help in the course of his missionary work. His exact needs were stated. A certain degree of accountability existed. When Paul stated his concerns he likely expected a certain degree of believing prayer to be delivered up to God by the saints. The necessity of being connected with a group of believers in which we can share our vital concerns is necessary not only for ministry, but also for daily needs. Can we share our vital concerns with others? Paul knew that prayer made a difference and that he could share his vital concerns. Do we really know that in our own life, or are we guilty of “going through the motions” with safe prayer requests? Personally, on separate occasions I could readily tell the difference of having solid prayer support as opposed to not having solid prayer support. Just last summer in Missoula while witnessing to people we were able to have a lot of solid conversations with what I believe happened because of pre-planned church prayer support. The second time while witnessing we had almost no conversations because of hastily-prepared prayer support! This can also reflect on missionaries as well as ministers who are busy with so many tasks without specific prayers backing them or even mentioned. Prayer is our most important weapon for spiritual warfare. Our enemy does not want us to organize our prayers, let alone have them be effective! When observing prayer requests from others keep in mind the hidden unmentioned needs that each person has or the potential fear employed by keeping topics at a surface level. Spiritual warfare is real. (Ephesians 6:12, 2 Corinthians 10:4) Do you have a small group of trusted people with which you can pray with? If those that you are close to cannot pray for your needs, then who can? Paul recognized the reality of spiritual warfare and was certainly not an “island to himself”.

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