Prayer Reboot

Pray without ceasing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17

A devotion for prayer meeting.

This devotion calls for one of those rare moments of honesty. I know that’s the last thing many expect when coming to church—someone being honest. If we are all going to be honest though, we grow dull in prayer too often. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can speak for myself and my own experience in times of dull dryness in prayer. Sometimes I let the busyness of life push prayer from the center. Sometimes I’m tired and feel scattered and prayer is not fresh. I find in those times that prayer becomes repetitive and mechanical. I find that prayer becomes general and vague. I also find that prayer at those times becomes much more focused on me and what I need or want.

Simply put, there are times we need a reboot in our prayer life. We need a refreshing and refocusing in prayer. To help us in that, I want to look at some specific prayers from the Bible. This will not include everything we are commanded to pray for in the Bible, but some key things that will help us to refocus. In order to recover fresh zeal in prayer, we often need to come back to specific prayer needs in our own life and for others around us.

Pray for the salvation of the lost

It’s good to begin outside of ourselves and consider the needs of others. Paul gave us a good example of praying for the salvation of the lost.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
– Romans 10:1

He testified that he had “great heaviness and continual sorrow” for his “kinsmen according to the flesh.” i.e. Israel (Romans 9:2-3). He had a great desire and prayed for his fellow Jews that they might be saved. Likewise, we have family who are lost. We have neighbors who are lost. We have co-workers who are lost. Let us repent of our indifference and pray to God that they might be saved.

We do not only pray for salvation, but we also give witness of the Gospel to those we pray for. In that regard, we should also be praying for the free course of the Gospel among those we pray for.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:
– 2 Thessalonians 3:1

We should be praying for appropriate boldness in our witness.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that i may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
– Ephesians 6:18-19

We need the boldness that the Word deserves when it is proclaimed. It may sound contradictory, but we also need to pray for meekness and humility in our witness. We need to speak the truth in love and not become angry or shout at others when we face opposition (1 Peter 2:21-23).

We should also be praying for other churches and missionaries in their work of evangelizing. We should not only be concerned about ourselves or our church, but we should have a burden for our fellow laborers and pray for them and rejoice with them when the Lord blesses them.

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 form them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
– Romans 15:30-31

We should not be all wrapped up in what we are doing. We should remember others and their labor for the Lord.

Pray for ourselves and our brothers and sisters

As we pray for our own needs, we must also remember our brothers and sisters who have the same needs in several areas. We should be praying for an increased knowledge of God and his will.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
– Colossians 1:9

We should pray for the flourishing of hope in our lives.

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
– Ephesians 1:18

We should pray for unfailing faith and help for our unbelief (Mark 9:24).

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
– Luke 22:32

We should pray for strength to stand.

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
– Colossians 1:11

We should pray for fruitfulness in our lives. Fruitfulness glorifies God and should be our desire (John 15:8, 16).

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
– Colossians 1:10

Lastly, we should pray for deliverance from temptation.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
– Matthew 6:13

We are daily engaged in a great warfare against our flesh, sin, and the devil. We must never take it lightly, but pray continually to be delivered (Matthew 26:41).

About Jeff Short