Scripture: Colossians 4:12 describes a faithful Christian who did battle for his friends who were far away: “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.”
The air force warehouse worker drives the forklift, lifting the missiles into the belly of the airplanes. But he may never see the airplane fly over enemy territory. He may never see the missile fly into enemy territory, winning a victory for his country.
The writer diligently publishes the work God placed on her heart and may never see the woman reading her words across the ocean, with tears in her eyes, recommitting her life to God because of the writer's faithfulness.
The kind person in the drive through that pays for the meal for the next person may never know that person had been praying for weeks for a sign that God cared about them and that very small act of kindness was a beacon of light.
Even though we may never see the success, our actions are important for someone's victory. No matter how insignificant your life may seem, you are playing a critical role in battles that our natural eyes cannot see.
In the same way, we offer our prayers from the solitude of our own homes. We may feel that our prayers never go further than the ceiling of our houses. But in reality, our prayers are far-reaching. They win victories that we never see. Our prayers can hit targets of enemy strongholds, even on the other side of the world. Even if you never see the effects of your prayers, don’t stop offering them!
Challenge: Start a journal of prayer requests. As you pray diligently, mark the ones that God has answered!
Even if you don’t ever hear the details of how your prayers were answered, you can trust in him. He is working, even when you don’t see it!
Scripture: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
Meditate on the attributes of God. Prayer is not only asking but acknowledging who God is. “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.” Exodus 34:6-8
As you think on the character of God, thank him for his love, compassion, faithfulness, and justice.
Thank God for answered prayer. Make a list of the most recent blessings you've received and answered prayer. Gratefulness has been correlated with better overall health, and gratitude is a command. As you start your time of prayer, spend time thanking him for his blessings.
Ask for your needs. God is honored when you ask him for help. In Psalm 50:15, God says, “Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."
As you praise Him, thank Him, and give Him your requests!
Challenge: Set your timer for 10 minutes one day this week and work through these three steps.
Scripture: “ I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1:16-20
A tree can’t grow tall unless it has a good root system. A very tall building needs good foundations, deep underground. In the same way, our prayer life will be shallow if we’re not deeply rooted in our relationship with Christ. When we are strongly anchored in Him, we will have the confidence to ask for great things.
As you start praying for the deep things of God, you will see Him begin to work. Instead of asking primarily for riches, fame, popularity, or miraculous healing, let’s follow the example of the Apostle Paul in his prayer in Ephesians chapter 1.
Challenge: Following Paul’s example, pray for the following:
Pray that you can know God.
Pray for wisdom and understanding.
Pray that your heart would know the hope of your inheritance.
Pray for power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead—is at work in our lives.
Don’t be afraid to ask God for wonderful new levels of understanding, power, wisdom, and love. Most of all, ask to know him more personally and intimately. He is listening, and he wants to give you more than you can ask or imagine.