Let’s be honest, it’s easy to pray for our families, friends, churches, pastors, missionaries, other Christians, and even ourselves. We would hardly hesitate at the chance to intercede for these people and would undoubtedly include them in our prayer list.
But today, I want to challenge you to complete your prayer list. That’s right! I just alluded to the incompleteness of your prayer list. More than likely, you’re missing some, if not all, these groups of people I’m about to share with you. You don’t mean to do it. We only did what was natural and, ah, there lies the problem!
Prayer is not a natural duty, it is a spiritual matter and should be approached in a spiritual manner with scriptural methods. So who’s missing from your prayer list?
I know what you’re thinking. But I do pray for my pastor, my boss, my husband, my parents, etc. But what about your local government leaders? What about the supreme court judges? Police officers? Federal authorities? President Obama? Vice-President Biden? God doesn’t call you to agree with them; He commands you to pray for them!
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;” 1 Timothy 2:1-3
These are the Christians who are not active and they’ve come up with ready reasons why they are not active in Christ’s work. I love praying for a missions team conducting a VBS in Mexico or a teaching staff who’ve dedicated their lives to imparting God-given wisdom to students. But a Christian who sits, sulk, and sours- forget about it! Better yet, a Christian who will go directly against what God has said? You’re not making my prayer list! Until I see what Jesus did for Peter prior to His betrayal:
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:31-32
Wow! Jesus, even knowing what was to come, still prayed for Peter. Who am I not to pray for a brother or sister in Christ who I deem to possess an anemic faith? Imagine what can happen if we all rallied in prayer…
It’s not a secret- we are living in a time when hostility towards Christianity is the norm. My heart breaks when I think about what our country will become if she continues to turn her back on God. I don’t even want to think about the America my children will grow up in.
When it seems as if countries like Russia and Kenya provide more freedom to live out your Christian faith, I must admit, it’s hard to pray for those who openly and vehemently oppose my Saviour and the Scriptures. But listen to what Jesus says:
“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren;” Matthew 5:44
Next week, I’ll share two more people groups that should be on your prayer list. But for now, you’ll probably have to add a few pages to your prayer journal. I challenge you to pray fervently for your authorities (all of them), anemic Christians, and the antagonistic towards our faith. I promise, your life will change if you do!