Pray Fervent Prayers Inspired By Relationship
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Twenty years ago this month, I had the privilege of planting a new church work. God had been working on me regarding prayer for this community and for the new work. As I prayed, He began to bring specific people to mind, people who were key influencers in that community.
Using the seven spheres of influence as a guideline, I focused my prayer on local leaders; first on pastors and churches, then leaders in education, local government and business, the military, and those involved in local arts, media and entertainment. I also began to pray for the families in the area, and for those that God would bring to be a part of this new work. Soon we outgrew our home, and we began meeting in a local elementary school, the Holy Spirit refined my prayers again, by showing me that it wasn’t enough just to pray for people in general, but that I needed to get to know them personally, and to pray specific prayers – inspired by relationship.
I began first by meeting to pray with other local pastors, and then got to know the local school superintendent, the principals and the teachers at the schools where my children were attending – and where we were meeting. I would simply stop in when I had an opportunity, ask them how I could pray for them specifically, leaving them my card and asking them to call me if they ever needed anything. Inspired by the response, I began to set up meetings with the local Army and Air Force chaplains, so that I could learn how and who to pray for at our local military installations. I went on to introduce myself to our local mayor and city council members, police and fire chiefs, business owners and leaders, and many others.
What I learned was this: we must never assume that we know how to pray for people until we build relationship with them and learn their specific needs – directly from them. We pray fervently for those we know and love, and by building trusted relationships with each of these leaders, we begin to pray much more effective, strategic, intentional, fervent, fiery, fierce, passionate prayers for each one. That, I believe, is the type of prayer that God, through the Apostle James, says ‘avails much’!
Would you pray with me…
Father God, we want to see You influence the influencers in our communities that are influencing us. You exhort us to make supplication, pray, intercede, and give thanks for all of the leaders and authorities in our local communities. As you gave influence to men like the Reverend Billy Graham to become a trusted confidant to presidents, give us influence to become the same to our local leaders. Open doors of relationship, and through those give us insight, wisdom, and discernment, not to become critical, but to contend fervently for them in our prayers.
We want to be those who love well and are known by Your love to them through us. It’s in Jesus name that we pray, Amen!
Rejoicing in hope,