Prayer first…what a concept.

I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name. Psalm 63:4

Paul wrote: I urge first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone. 1 Timothy 2:1

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Flora at the Hermitage | Nashville, TN | December 2018

We – like many churches these days – are facing some financial challenges these days. These are unusual, however, because of the circumstances we face and the pockets in which the money is or is not. The details are not important, but a note from my brother and fellow pastor David Schultz is germane to to this post.

He wrote:

As we were talking last week about prayer for the final stewardship emphasis, I was thinking about a note to the congregation from you of the need to be in prayer to sustain the response to the needs that are ours. Might begin with an emphasis from I Tim 2:1ff, “I urge you then FIRST OF ALL, that requests, prayers intercessions and thanksgiving me made for everyone…” ; followed then by Jesus words Matt 7:7, “ask and it shall be given”; followed by James 4:2b, “you don’t have because  you do not ask.”

Perhaps asking everyone on our email list to pause with you for 5 minutes each day till the 31st (you set the daily time), and we will pray with you a prayer like,

“Dear Heavenly Father; You have given us the greatest gift in Jesus Christ your Son, and for that we are eternally grateful. But with ministry emphasis at St. John expanding exponentially yearly, there are ministry needs that we have yet to meet for 2018. Give each of us the willingness to join hands to  meet these needs with gifts we have yet to put aside, but which You have already provided. In Jesus’ Name.  

My reply to him was simple:

This is excellent. I was thinking of sending a pray-gram to the members and regular attenders in this vein. Thanks for your thoughts. Prayer first…what a concept. We should all be on our knees in repentance that we haven’t been doing this from the start!

What, in your life, is in need of God’s intervention and prayer? Is it a wayward child, an estranged relative, a broken relationship, a battle with disease, trouble at work? This is not a call to disconnect our minds and bodies from working on things we are able to do ourselves. It is a call, however, to pray first.

It’s not clear who first said it, but it bears repeating: Whatever you face, pray like everything depends on God and work as though everything depends on you. Another way to say this is, “Pray like everything depends on God and work as though you are God’s answer to the prayer you just prayed!”

3 comments
  1. Don W Pfennig said:

    Stephen Ministry caregivers are instructed that they should “pray first” before each caring visit.

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