Doing Nothing

One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard said about prayer is that, from a human standpoint, it is doing nothing. I’m a wholehearted believer in being proactive, and so persistent, laborious prayer can be difficult for me. On the one hand, I know that I am supposed to bring these requests to God, but there is always a tiny voice in my head that reminds me that if I don’t DO something about it, it’s probably not going to get done. Is this a lack of faith? I think the answer is a tricky one and lies only in the heart. There are times when a situation warrants nothing but prayer, and no matter how many times I pound my head against that door, it’s just not going to open unless God does the work. There are other times when God chooses to work through me even though (I’ve learned the hard way) He does not need me to accomplish His purpose. The interesting thing is that sometimes He solely purposes to work through my prayer and not through any action at all. The simple act of asking, and sometimes begging, is the incense that rises to His throne and brings Him honor. This is a great mystery that I do not understand, but the paradox draws me to want to pray more, not less. It’s a relief to know that God’s arm is never too short to save, and that He hears and uses the prayers of His people in mighty ways. I also love the way that He draws my heart to pray for certain people at different times, and am doubly blessed when I hear of people who have been burdened to pray for me. That is such an honor. This list is taken from the Oriental Missions Foundation and is revised by Pastor Steve Cole of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship. (How I came across it is an interesting story for another day.) I’ve been praying through it for a little over a year for myself and others and have found very specific answers in my own life. I love the fact that it is based on Scriptural mandates and promises.

If you get tired of praying, “God bless so and so,” here are some more specific requests, based on various Scriptures. Most of these come from Will Bruce, of OMF, but I have added and modified them a bit, including the biblical references. Pray that the person (family member, missionary, pastor, yourself, etc.)…

  1. …will love God more fervently from the heart (Matt. 22:37).
  2.  .…will realize his present exalted position in Christ (Eph. 1:17-2:6).
  3. …will be filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in the Spirit (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16).
  4.  …will be regular and systematic in reading, studying, and memorizing the Word (Ps. 119).
  5. …will have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:15-16).
  6. …will grow daily in Christlike maturity, developing the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 1:28).
  7. …will appropriate the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-20).
  8. …will be alert to Satan’s strategies (2 Cor. 2:11).
  9. …will not love the world system (1 John 2:15-17).
  10. …will have a spirit of brokenness and humility (Phil. 2:1-8).
  11. …will have a servant’s heart (John 13:1-17).
  12.  …will build a godly family (Eph. 5:22-6:4).
  13. …will become an effective prayer warrior (Col. 1:9; 4:12).
  14. …will know God’s hand on him in physical and material things (3 John 2-3; Phil. 4:19).
  15.  …will be a faithful steward of all that God entrusts to him (1 Cor. 4:1-2; Matt. 25:14-30).
  16. …will learn to praise the Lord (Ps. 103; 150).
  17.  …will live in prayerful worship (John 4:24; Phil. 3:3).
  18. …will love fellow Christians from the heart (Rom. 12:9-13; 1 Pet. 1:22; 4:8).
  19. …will reach out to the lost (1 Cor. 9:19-23).
  20.  …will learn about, pray for, and give to the cause of world missions (Matt. 28:18-20; Hab. 2:14).

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