Stay, do not Stray and Pray
Updated: Apr 19, 2022
MANY TIMES, we say: I'll pray for you, and we don't. Maybe we mean it, but we forget. However, Paul was different.
He prayed for people in his epistles: those who asked and those who didn't—and a few times, he asked for prayers for himself.
Once, he said: I know that through your prayers and God's provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. (Phil. 1:19)
Paul believed that prayer was effective, powerful, and necessary.
What do you want?
THERE were things he wanted God to do.
He asked for prayers to speak the right words, that doors will open for the gospel, and there will be clarity in communication. (Ephes. 6:19; Col. 4:2; 4:4)
He also asked for prayers to be delivered from wicked and evil men. (2 Thes. 3:2)
These show how eternally focused Paul was—and we have so much to learn from him.
He committed to God every nitty-gritty of what he had to do.
God wants you to commit your ways unto Him, and he will order your path. And when you tell him your works, he will establish your thoughts. (Ps. 37:5; Prov. 16:3)
What is your attitude?
PAUL was joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. (Rom. 12:12)
As they prayed for him, he hoped their prayers would be answered. And in anticipation, he asked that they prepare a guest room for him. (Philemon 1:22)
It will be a waste of effort if you do not believe that what you ask God for in prayer will come to pass.
And this is the confidence we have in approaching God: if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14)
Do you need help?
YOU do not ask for prayer without praying for yourself.
Paul needed other believers to stand in the gap with him. So, he called for prayers and God's intervention.
He believed that you join them in their work when you pray for someone in ministry.
Paul understood that believers care for one another. And one way they show it is in prayers.
When you stand with other believers in their work with God, their burden becomes your burden—and together, you take it to the Lord.
Paul built a community of prayer. For example, he made a request: Friends, pray for me. (Rom. 15:30)
Some friends will stay, others will stray, and some will pray.
When the results do not match the process
AT A TIME, the disciples of Jesus were feeling uprooted.
Some had left because of something Jesus said. (John 6:66-67) But he built a labyrinth of vines steeped in the soil.
He painted the picture of his kingdom using the vine—and showed them a life of sustenance, beauty and connection. Then, he called them friends as he had told them his secret. (John 15:1-15)
When prayer is a struggle
NO WONDER before he was arrested, he took them to Mount Olives and said, "Sit here while I pray."
He took Peter, James and John with him.
If you are deeply disturbed today, you are not alone.
Jesus was deeply distressed and troubled. And his soul was sorrowful to the point of death.
He moved a little farther from his disciples and prayed that, if possible, this cup would pass from him. Yet, not my will but yours be done. (Mk. 14:35-36)
Jesus prayed for the reality of God's Will.
God will save you from anything but not His Will.
Adversity can be the plan of God, and as painful as it might be, it sets the stage for what is coming next.
Could you not sleep on me?
WHEN JESUS returned, he found them sleeping.
He said to Peter, "Are you asleep? Couldn't you watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mk. 14:38)
He went away, and when he returned, he found them sleeping as their eyes were tired.
The disciples stayed; they strayed and did not pray.
But the third time he returned, he told them that the hour had come.
Soon after, Judas came to him and betrayed him with a kiss. The soldiers arrested Jesus and took him away.
God will save you from anything but not His Will
PILATE found no fault in him. And when he brought Jesus out, they shouted, "Crucify him."
The soldiers crucified Jesus. He who knew no sin became sin that you may become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:21)
What a gift!
Bringing It Together
JESUS looked beyond the filthy hearts. He saw beating hearts—souls worth dying for.
He stayed; Jesus did not stray, and he prayed.
If you do not know Jesus, confess your sins to Him and ask Him to come into your heart. Tell him to be your Lord and Saviour.
Now that you have done this, you are a believer in Christ.