PRAYER AND MINISTRY
Monday, October 16, 2017
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“God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times.” Romans 1:9-10

The Apostle Paul had a remarkable prayer life. His requests were always for the work of Christ’s church and the benefit of others. Many of his letters were written on the frontlines of battle or imprisoned, and he had no way of knowing they would comprise a major portion of New Testament Scripture.

.Paul had not yet been to Rome, but was eager to come, and he says, “How constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times.” There are three aspects in Paul’s prayers that are reflected in his letter to the Christians in Rome. They are first called to be spiritual. That is an upward direction to God. The first indication of the work God gives us is when we begin to feel a pull to pray for a specific ministry.

I have known many people, myself included, who began to pray in a certain direction, and over a period of time, God began to lead. In my younger years, I kept a map of the world on my bedroom wall, and when I got married, it was moved to the wall in my study. I had no idea God would ask me to travel the world and preach the Gospel, but it began with praying for the world. If God lays a burden on our hearts to pray for something, follow that through. That is usually the first door which leads to what Christ is calling us to do.

Paul also prays for an inward direction of spiritual ministry. This is about imparting spiritual gifts, and being mutually encouraged by one another. The upward direction, dealing with God, will express itself in the inward direction of building up one another. The third direction of Paul’s prayers and ministry is the outward direction. He says, “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish” (Romans 1:14).

In exercising spiritual ministry, we deal first with God, the upward direction; secondly, with each other, the inward direction; and thirdly, outward into the world. Paul always prays for the things only God can give. If our prayers are going to be effective and fruitful, our hearts need to be aligned with God’s agenda for this world. Jesus said, “You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). This is not a blank cheque for anything we want, but in our service to Christ, we soon discover our prayer requests have their source in Christ. We can then come before God with confidence, knowing His will is our will, and He is the One who sees it through.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray for a deep work of Your Holy Spirit in discerning the calling You have for me. May I look upward to You first, then to my church and, step into the world with faith. Thank You, God.


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