As I prepare this article, we are coming to the end of Pastor Appreciation Month and heading into the month of Thanksgiving. This a great time to consider some thoughts on intercessory prayer. In 1 Cor. 16:9, the Apostle Paul wrote, “a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” This is a great prayer reminder. All of us have a great and effective (effectual) door opened to us to preach, and teach, and share the gospel. Regardless of the size of our door of opportunity, we have that opportunity to proclaim His Word.
In this verse we also see another truth: we have many adversaries. Paul had his adversaries and we have ours; those who are seeking to stifle what we are seeking to communicate. Those adversaries include our chief enemy and his cohorts and a world system that is aligned against God. In some cases, those adversaries might even be within the church. When Paul wrote, he reminded people there are wolves in sheep clothing, there are busybodies, and there are those seeking to quench the Spirit.
There is another passage that serves as a great reminder about intercessory prayer. It is found in 1 Thess. 5:25 and contains only four words, “Brethren pray for us.” Obviously, these words have a historical context. They were written to a specific church at a specific time in history. Even so, they are very applicable for us. It would be pointless for us to pray for Paul now; he is with our Lord and basking in the glories of heaven. So how can we apply this? We could see here a call to pray for those in Christian Ministry. Let’s consider what Paul was. He was an apostle, a preacher, an evangelist, a church planter, a disciple-maker, a chaplain (at times in chains himself and ministering to those in chains), a theologian, and for sure a trailblazer.
Here we find a great guideline to develop a prayer list of those in Christian ministry. From the descriptions listed above and others I have overlooked, you could develop a list of people to pray for each day or set a day each week that you pray for people by name who are in Christian ministry. A way to add to that would be to pray for a SCBI church each day. If you will go to SCBI.org à Ministries à Prayer àMonthly Prayer List, you will find a list of the SCBI churches. This is a handy tool you could use to pray for a SCBI church; one for each day. This list is updated every month. To my fellow pastors, I hope you feel appreciated. I thank you and I know our SCBI Staff is grateful for you and your work in the kingdom. Let’s keep praying for each other that we will seize the opportunities we have even amidst the adversaries we face.