The Work of Prayer and the Humility of Asking

Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ (2 Thessalonians 3:1 – 3:5 ESV)

Paul and the other New Testament writers all asked for prayer. They all prayed, and even wrote specifically about what they prayed and for whom they prayed.

Brothers, pray for us. . .it is a statement of community, of asking others to join in the battle;
It is a statement of humility, a public acknowledgement that I am unable to fight the battle alone. If Paul and John and James and Peter admitted their inability to be “Lone Ranger Christians” why should I be so arrogant to think I can do this alone?!
Rabbit trail– it is false humility and pride that fuels the statement, “I don’t want to bother anyone; people have their own problems; they will think I am weak/unspiritual/annoying. . .”

I have struggled with the “work” of prayer, specifically of intercession. For so long I found my significance in what I could “do” and, to be honest, the work of prayer is not a work that is noticed.

Now, my “doing” days, for the most part, are over. But I can pray. I can encourage and admonish. This is the assignment God has given me. It is my own pride and self-sufficiency that refuses to accept the work of prayer as a God-given assignment rather than an afterthought until I can do something important.

Moses was the undisputed leader of Israel. But he was getting older,and the army needed younger men to fight the Amalekites. Joshua was in the battle, but Moses was on the hill, holding up his staff, interceding on the Israeli soldiers’ behalf. Joshua’s job was to fight; Moses’ job was to intercede. But Moses needed Aaron and Hur to hold up his arms to keep that staff in the air. (From Exodus 17)

I need help to do the work of prayer, the assignment God has given me. I am thankful for the friends I know pray for me regularly. Please don’t stop. Please pray that I will be faithful to the task God has given me. Pray that I will not grow weary in doing good. Pray that I will clothe myself in humility so that Jesus will be magnified.

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