What to Pray? (11 February 2019)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction

One of the great benefits about being a Christian is the fact we can do something for others even when we feel utterly helpless: we can pray for them. We can talk to a loving, powerful and present God and he hears and responds to what we say. Praying for others is wonderful, but it can also be hard work, it can be difficult to know what to ask for, it can be demoralising when our requests seem unheeded. This week we will be thinking about the task of praying for others and raising some of our questions about it in the light of what the Bible has to say.

Read:

So I never stop being grateful for you, as I mention you in my prayers. I ask the glorious Father and God of our Lord Jesus Christ to give you his Spirit. The Spirit will make you wise and let you understand what it means to know God. My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that will be yours together with all of God’s people.

I want you to know about the great and mighty power that God has for us followers.

Ephesians 1: 16-19a

Reflect:

What do we want for our nearest and dearest? Happiness, health and wealth? Paul prays for none of these things for the church in Ephesus. He doesn’t pray for their physical safety or their emotional well- being, although these are good things to pray for and I’m sure were genuine needs.

What does he pray? He gives thanks for them, and he asks that the Spirit would enable them to know God better. He prays their hope will be based on being chosen, and that they will experience all the blessings and power available to God’s people.

When we pray for others, what do we pray? Perhaps this prayer of Paul’s can spur us on to ask for what is needed above all else- a deeper relationship with God.

Respond:

Think of three people to pray for, and lift them to God using Paul’s prayer as a model.

Midday Meditation:

“Encountering Jesus is even more desirable than miracles and explanations. It was an encounter with God that silenced Job’s questions (Job 40-41). It is an encounter with God that we all need most.”

(Pete Greig, God on Mute)

Evening Reflection:

You are the peace of all things calm
You are the place to hide from harm
You are the light that shines in dark
You are the heart's eternal spark
You are the door that's open wide
You are the guest who waits inside
You are the stranger at the door
You are the calling of the poor
You are my Lord and with me still
You are my love, keep me from ill
You are the light, the truth, the way
You are my Saviour this very day. 
 

(Celtic oral tradition, 1st Millennium)
 

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