Summary: An appeal for the church to pray for their pastor.
Pray For Me
Woodlawn Baptist Church
December 30, 2007
“It takes prayer in the pulpit and prayer in the pew to make preaching arresting, life-giving, and soul-saving.” Those words were written by E.M. Bounds some 120 years ago in a chapter titled, The Preacher’s Cry: Pray for us! For the past year I have developed a greater conviction than ever before about our need for more prayer, and consequently, our lack of prayer for the things that matter most. As disciples of Christ we must be people of prayer. And today I want to make a simple appeal for you to pray for your preacher. The sermon I will preach today is one I have preached to you before on two other occasions. It is one I will preach again from time to time because I believe it is imperative that I remind you to pray for me. I still feel funny asking you to pray for me, but as I study the Scriptures, I find that the apostle Paul didn’t hesitate to ask people to pray for him. In Romans 15:30 he said,
“Now I beseech you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.”
To the Colossian church he wrote,
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.”
He said to the Thessalonian believers, “Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.” To the Corinthians he said, “You are helping us by praying for us.” He wrote to others too, but today I want to draw your attention to Ephesians 6:18-20.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Today that is my cry to you – to pray for me. That you strive together with me in your prayers. That you devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind. That you pray God will give me opportunities to speak about Him. My plea today is for prayer: rich, regular, passionate pleading for the Spirit of God to energize and make fruitful my preaching and ministry. Somebody said that prayer is preparation for the battle. Prayer is not preparation for the battle – prayer is the battle.
There’s great spiritual warfare going on in our church: in your lives and in mine. Our adversary is alive and busy opposing our efforts day and night. He is at work this very moment, working to keep us from being the people, the families and the church God expects us to be. He is at work trying to prevent this message from entering a ready heart, trying to distract and disrupt. He is at work trying to convince us that prayer is not important, that prayer for your pastor is useless – but it’s a lie!