What are we praying about?

Wednesday night, Jet McCoy and I started a class that will cover several topics, but we began by talking about prayer. We spent most of the time talking about the case that scripture makes for prayer being worthwhile, essential and effective. It is part of God’s design for our relationship with Him. If we can understand why prayer matters, we might next ask ourselves about the subjects within our prayers.
In the last chapter of his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul (as he often does) begins with a request for prayer. Reading his request makes me think about our own prayer requests. Many of us have things that we share with the church when we feel the need for prayer. Often those requests deal with illness, family or job issues, comfort after the loss of a loved one or other major life changes. Those are all things that we should be praying about. We need God’s help at those difficult times. Paul asks for prayers in tough times as well, but I’m struck by his initial request in verse 1: “Pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored.”
How often do we in our personal prayers spend time praying for the spread of the gospel? I believe that we truly want the gospel to spread and that we would like to see more people baptized into Christ, but do our prayers indicate that? I would encourage each of us to add that to our conversations with God. It is partly a general request for the gospel spreading in our community and around the world. Closer to home, there are people you know personally that need to know Christ. Pray for them by name. Pray that God can help each of us find those people that we can share His story with. God hears all of our prayers, but isn’t it great when the desires of our hearts are also in line with His mission?
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”    – Matthew 9:37-38

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