I’m Praying for You
I pray a lot in the shower. No one sees me there, and the water spray masks the tears. To be honest, my prayers, especially those in the shower, are often crisis-induced. Friendship woes. Job loss. Death. Divorce. I run with the pain of my friends to God.
What prompts you to pray? Are your prayers, like mine, frequently crisis-induced?
It’s good and right to bring trials to our faithful Father, for He’s compassionately working in every situation. However, it’s important to remember that crises aren’t the only impetuses for prayer.
Paul writes two prayers in Ephesians (chapters 1 and 3), and before each prayer, he says, “for this reason” (Eph. 1:15 and 3:1). It’s just a three-word phrase, yet it declares, “Hey, you don’t have to guess at the reason I’m praying for you. I’ll tell you.”
When Paul says “for this reason,” he’s not thinking about crises. He’s actually looking back at the glorious truths in chapters 1 and 2 that we marveled at last week – God’s lavish grace and the new identity of the Ephesian believers.
These believers are no longer dead in their sins. They’re now alive in Christ and live with a faith and love that defines them. They’re no longer strangers and foreigners. God has adopted them as His children and placed them in His family.
This reality of belonging – of family – is crucial! It’s the reason Paul prays for the Ephesians.
Instead of waiting for a crisis to prompt prayer, Paul puts these believers on his prayer list simply because God has put them in the body of Christ.
God’s redemptive work and lavish grace prompts Paul to pray for believers. Can I say the same? Does the gift of salvation prompt me to pray for the church?
Is that why I promise, “I’m praying for you”?
Truthfully, we can be pretty self-centered when we think about redemption. We often see salvation as a personal experience that gives me my ticket out of judgment. It’s my salvation. My sins that are forgiven. My relationship with God.
It’s true that we do have a relationship with God through Jesus’ blood shed for us, but Jesus’ blood did not buy us our own, one-person bubble.
Rather, through Jesus, God has adopted us into His family. Repeatedly in Ephesians, we see that redemption gives us community, not isolation. We are one body – together.
The glorious truth of salvation is my greatest catalyst to pray for other believers, to kneel before the Father and lift up my family members in Christ, to join my words to the groanings of the Holy Spirit.
The cross of Christ prompts me to pray long and faithfully for His body.
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