I love our prayer list. That seems strange, considering that the list has nearly 100 requests on it. I love the list because it seems to keep this body of believers in obedience with Paul’s command. First Thessalonians 5:17 says, in some versions, “Pray without ceasing.”
I praise God that this is a praying church. Every Sunday school class and Bible study begins and ends with prayer, but not until the class has gone through a fairly extensive time of updating everyone about the status of existing prayer concerns or gathering new requests. Our worship service includes significant time devoted to updating the list and prayer over that list, not just from the front but from among all who are gathered to worship. There’s a prayer meeting every Tuesday at 6 a.m. (to which everyone is invited), and it usually takes more than an hour to go through all the updates and to pray. Even the elders and board set aside time during their meetings to update the prayer list and to pray.
It is my prayer that the attention we seem to give to updating each other about the status of our family, friends, and ourselves and to praying for those concerns is in response to James 5:16, that the prayers of the righteous are “powerful and effective.” I pray that we would be devoted to prayer and, as Paul wrote in Colossians 4:2, “watchful and thankful,” being aware of the needs of those around us and mindful of God’s provision and care. I pray that we will, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:18, that we will pray whenever we have the opportunity, that we will pray by the leading of the Holy Spirit, and that we will continue to pray for each other and for our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
Pray for me, as I pray for you, that we might all find opportunities to share the message God has given us and that we might share it clearly (Colossians 4:3, 4). Let us pray with confidence (Hebrews 4:16 and 10:19). As we pray continually, in the name of Jesus, may God answer our prayers.