“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” (Ephesians 6:18).
You can’t miss the three “all’s” and one “always” in this verse. Paul is encouraging us to pray for others at the drop of a hat. Or, as we’re prompted, at the drop of a concern. Concerns that people bring to our attention in casual (or not-so-casual) conversation. We must cultivate the habit of immediately interceding for those who have just unburdened themselves on us. Their concerns should be recognized as a prompting to pray. Not eventually. Right now. Because we all know the guilt of forgetting to pray for those to whom we made that simple promise, “I’ll be praying for you.” The guilt only intensifies when these folks see us a few days later and say, “Thanks so much for praying for me – God has really turned things around.” We smile and say, “Oh, it was nothing.” And it was nothing. Truth be known, we had neglected to pray for them as we had promised we would. When we don’t intercede as soon as we encounter these needs there’s a good chance that we’ll never get around to doing so.
Gracious Father, forgive me for all of the times I have neglected to pray for those who have entrusted me to lift their needs and concerns before You. Give me courage and opportunities to stop and intercede as soon as someone asks. May I continually recognize what an honor it is to be asked to come before Your throne on behalf of another.
Adapted from Prayer Coach by James L. Nicodem.
Praise the Lord, whose name is a strong tower to which the righteous run and find safety (Prov. 18:10). Thank God for the safety he has brought to your life. Confess any area in which your walk is not consistent with bearing Christ’s name. Commit to living all your life under God. Ask him to give you the courage that comes from knowing he cares for you.
Pray for those in your care to be under the strong tower of God’s care. Ask God to assure them of their safety in his strong and tender presence.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend