Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. - Ephesians 6:18 msg
What is intercessory prayer? Paul bragged to the church in Colosse about Epaphras, a member of the church: “Epaphras [is] . . . always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12). Epaphras prayed for the people in the church to be spiritually mature, for them to be complete and whole, and also for them to fulfill the will of God. That is an example of intercessory prayer; it focuses on fulfilling the ministry and the mission of the church.
One of the concerns we often have about our prayer ministry is that the requests we receive are overwhelmingly for those who are sick. There is no doubt that the church is called to pray for the sick. But so often it seems the church is obsessed with praying sick sinners out of heaven and totally oblivious to praying lost sinners out of hell. We need to have the right priority when it comes to our intercession. It’s about praying for Christ’s kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. That means focusing on the spiritual welfare of the church and its mission as we remember the physical needs of those who are sick.
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