Power to the People

Ephesians 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

There are two types of movie viewers - those who must get there long before the scheduled start time to ensure that even the previews aren't missed and those who actually plan to arrive later than the start time in hopes of skipping the previews and going straight for the main event. I am squarely in the first group. Sometimes I enjoy the previews almost as much as the movie itself. Previews are tantalizing tidbits that wet your appetite and prepare you to later take in a feast of moview viewing.

This morning I am in John 11:1-23. This is the well-known story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, only the section we're reading is only the preview. "The event" won't actually happen until tomorrow. Because this is God's Word though, we don't have to wait for the full-blown movie, He has a great word for us even in the trailer.

For the last two days we've looked at recognizing God's voice and then listening to God's voice. Today, God is expounding in my heart on the theme of prayer through this passage by teaching me about praying for others. Let's take a look.

  1. Prayer Powered by Love - When Martha and Mary realize that Lazarus is gravely ill, they send word immediately to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick" (Verses 1-3). My heart is pierced with those words. Do I cry out to God bathed in His love for the one who's sick, hurting or needy or is my prayer for others even really focused on myself?
  2. Prayer Powered by Persistence - Even though Jesus deeply loved Lazarus and his sisters, he waited two days to come to them (Verses 5-6). Does my prayers for others have staying power? Do I pray just one time, maybe when I first find out about something or do I persist even when Jesus doesn't "come to them" right away.
  3. Prayer Powered by Faith - When Jesus arrives, Martha comes out to greet Him and imediately affirms that 1) she knows if He'd been there, Lazarus would not have died and 2) she knows that God will give Jesus whatever He asks (Verses 21-22). Do I pray out of what I know or out of a flimsy hope or wish? Do I approach Jesus confidently like Martha or do I pray from a distance like Mary (she didn't come out to greet Jesus)?

Oh, Jesus, I desperately need your power behind my prayer for others. Today, I will pray with Your love, persistently when I don't hear from you right away and in the confidence that comes from having true faith in You.

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