March 19, 2021
Scripture Resource Passages: Ephesians 1:15-20; 3:14-21
Our prayers for life, liberty and happiness abound. Listen to disciples praying individually or in groups and you will hear prayers for help, support and assistance. Walk through a hospital’s Intensive Care Unit or Emergency Department and the prayers magnify with intensity. Journey through a Pediatric Neonatal Unit and trauma guides any disciple’s prayers. Oh God, grant wisdom and relief—above all, relief from pain. Personal, poignant and passionate prayers flood our hearts beseeching Heaven for rescue and mercy.
Prayer is not a small part of our faith. Disciples’ journey inward while holding the prayers of Jesus tightly to our chests. The great prayers found in Scripture fill our lives. Examine the prayers of Paul as he prays for churches and other disciples. Check out Ephesians 1:15-20; 3:14-21 for this post’s readings.
As you read stay alert for both what is present along with personal and missing concerns. Serving as an example: Paul’s prayers do not include prayers for relief from Roman Emperors. Later, during obvious times of persecution, the Apostle Peter does not pray to be spared from political oppression. Re-read 1 and 2 Peter for any hint of political prayer in the form of a complaint to God. It is missing.
Disciples pay attention to the specific content of all prayers provided throughout God’s Word. We profit by observing what is missing from the supplications which occurred during times we know were challenging.
Today, a pandemic continues to surge around and in us; and make no mistake—it rages. It is an extreme time. Illnesses, sufferings and deaths reported each day. Disciple’s families, congregations and friends are not somehow exempt from the viral contagion. Given these challenges of what use shall we make of prayer’s privilege?
Asked in another way: What is there to learn from the prayers recorded in Scripture? As you read the texts be sure to sit with them for sufficient time to absorb both what is being requested and what words might be missing from the prayer-filled pleas.
Using the time of personal, family, national and international disruption as a prompt, compare your prayerful concerns to those of Jesus and his Scripture writers, noting similarities as well as the kind of prayers which are not paralleled in Scripture.
I am looking forward to reading your comments and suggestions. Grace and peace to each of you.