If anyone were to ask you that question what would your responses be? Our response is often based upon a need or desire we have, prompted by our current circumstances. More often than not it’s never a request to please the Lord or be a better witness for Him. Our unmet needs make us selfish in our request. But if we believe Philippians 4:13 & 19 then our request will be less self absorbed and more spiritually focused. Let’s look at a perfect example of a selfless prayer request.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NIV‬‬

This request came from the apostle Paul while he was in prison. He didn’t ask for prayers to be freed, but that he’d be better equipped to continue sharing the gospel with boldness. Wow! Puts me to shame. Would that have been my request? Probably not. But I have been praying lately that I be given the same grace that was given Paul to boldly stand for my faith in Jesus whenever the need arises.

When 911 happened and our soldiers were being sent to fight, there were a lot of people complaining that they shouldn’t be placed in harms way. But my response, though unpopular was, why did they go through all that training? And why did they join the military? The same question will be put to us soon. Jesus hid nothing from us concerning our enlistment. If we choose to stand up for righteousness we will pay the price. Just ask the persecuted Christians.

Members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram reportedly attacked and killed 11 people in a Christian village in northern Nigeria on Christmas Eve.CBN NEWS

This is a normal occurrence. Christians in these countries have no idea, except for the Grace of God, if today, tonight or tomorrow is their last, but they are undeterred in their walk with Jesus. These events make me reevaluate how I pray and what I pray for. I’ve read articles where the interviewer asks Christians in the underground churches how we can be praying for them? Their response was like Paul’s with an added request for more Bibles.

Sooo...what was your prayer request again? What was that situation that got you so frustrated and angry you wanted to end it all? The building where you meet for church is too hot, too cold. The services are too long. The church doors are open but you’re still too afraid of getting Covid, so you sit home in your pjs “watching church“ Online. (I do understand those with underlying concerns) We should be thankful we’re not living in China, Nigeria, North Korea, India, Iran, Pakistan and the more than 100 countries where Christians are persecuted daily. We have taken our freedoms for granted. Our prayer requests are more like Santa’s list. Children asking for things they do not need but must have in order to be happy.

As we reevaluate our prayer requests, may we fall more in line with what meets the needs of others, and brings honor and glory to our Lord. May we like Paul go deeper, desiring to be more fearless and bolder in our witness for Christ. That no matter where our stand for Christ takes us, we will remain steadfast. That we will endeavor to pray, prayers that availeth much. Tremendous in its outcome. Prayers that move heaven on our behalf. Prayers that shake the places where we stand, and change us. Selfless prayers, that places the needs of others above our own.

Yes my friends, prayer changes things! But when prayer begins to change us, we’ll change the way we pray. Then the Lord God Himself will be pleased to say. Before you call I will answer, while you’re yet speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

So what was that prayer request?

Written by permission of the Holy Spirit

W. Tennant

February 1, 2021

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