In the Old Testament the Lord told the Israelites he wanted his Tabernacle to constantly be full of the smell of incense, representing the prayers of his people. He also gave them his own exclusive recipe. What might God’s recipe for our prayers be as we intercede for those working on the frontlines? Here are 6 biblical ingredients to help us pray.
Pray for open doors
While under house arrest Paul surprisingly asks for prayer that, “God may open a door for our message.” (See Col 4:3) We also need God to open doors to unreached peoples and places that are hard to get to.
Pray for clear speaking
Paul asks for prayer that he might proclaim Christ ‘clearly’ (Col 4:4). The gospel is a message that must be heard. Let’s pray for workers as they learn to tell the good news of Jesus in a new language, that they may speak clearly and into people’s hearts and minds.
Pray to meet open hearts
When Paul and his team went to Philippi they spoke to some women at a place of prayer. One of those listening was a businesswoman, Lydia. We read, ‘The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message’ (Acts 16:14). Let’s ask the Lord to open the hearts of those we’re sharing with.
Pray for God’s leading
In Acts 8:26 an angel of the Lord tells Philip to go to a certain place. On his way he met an Ethiopian who was reading the Book of Isaiah. Philip explains what he’s reading and the Ethiopian believes and asks to be baptised. Let’s pray that the Lord will lead workers on the field to those who are hungry for truth.
Pray for courage
We may think that the apostles were daring pioneers who fearlessly spread the gospel through the ancient world. Paul turns that idea on its head when he writes to the Corinthians (1 Cor 2:3), “I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.” Pioneer missionaries too are not superheroes. Many are not particularly gifted evangelists. They’re ordinary people who want to be used by God despite their fear and trembling. Let’s pray the Acts 4:29 prayer for them: “Enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”
Pray for unity
One of the greatest silent witnesses of the work of Christ in us is our unity. Jesus stated it clearly in John 13:35 and prayed for it passionately in John 17. There are lots of opportunities for followers of Jesus to fall out with each other but let’s pray that our workers on the field and the churches they plant will be known for their grace, forgiveness and love for one another.