Praying for people continually – HOW?

Posted: October 13, 2017 at 3:58 pm

1 Thessalonians 1:2

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.”

The sheer amount of need around us can be overwhelming, not to mention the needs we see far away and read about in missionary newsletters! The list can become very long. So how can we genuinely be praying for so many people all the time, like the Apostle Paul says? Is it realistic?

Do not be overwhelmed, and please don’t give up. This brief word from Paul has helped me immensely to enjoy praying for many more things without feeling swamped.

The answer lies in the word “mention” and this is where I hope you will find great new encouragement to pray.

The Greek word used is ‘mneia’ and literally means to recall, remember, recite. It is also used in 1 Thessalonians 3:6 where Timothy told Paul that the Thessalonian Christians always had “pleasant memories” (NIV) of Paul, Silas and Timothy. The ESV says “you always remember us kindly”.

These prayers are not long wordy descriptions to God of what is needed and why it’s important. The Apostle is modelling a method of literally just keeping people in mind, and briefly appealing to the Holy Spirit to bless them. A “mention” is a brief and specific utterance.

So I encourage you to keep people and needs in mind, and remember them kindly throughout the day. Perhaps write names and needs on a piece of paper or on your device, and be reminded to think of them often. This is how we can pray “always” and “continually” and bless nations.

“keep people and needs in mind, and remember them kindly throughout the day”

 

‘Prayer for Listeners’ is a series I write for the FEBC Skywaves newsletter, helping people to pray in-sync with the Bible, praying especially for other people. It’s a series to inspire and encourage your prayers for your neighbours and for FEBC listeners all around the world.

I delight in the fact that as Christians we have an ambassador’s role in the Mission of God. We are called to “go” and “appeal” to people to be reconciled to God. We have the privilege of working and using our skills to reach out to the nations. At FEBC we do this with media like radio and internet technology.

At the same time, God the Holy Spirit is at work acting on people’s hearts, moving in their lives to humble them and empower them to believe, and live in freedom and submission. It is for this work that I especially ask you to pray. In this series I’ll will give you a scripture from which to pray earnestly for the work of the Spirit in our listeners’ lives. From Indonesia to Kazakhstan and everywhere in between.

Be encouraged.

Matt Perry

* Photo of huge queue of people in China, courtesy of Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/peoplesdaily/article-3735799/)
Author: Matt Perry

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