today is national day of prayer in the US. my expectation is that you are already a person who prays, and hopefully you do it daily, that praying is a part of the natural fabric of your everyday life. but today, i encourage you to join the country in praying. to assist you, i have pulled a few directives from paul’s letters in the new testament.
1. pray all the time. “never stop praying.” (1 thessalonians 5.17)
2. pray thankfully. “devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” (colossians 4.2)
3. pray for yourself. “don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (philippians 4.6); are any of you suffering hardships? you should pray. (james 5.13)
4. pray for other believers. pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (ephesians 6.18)
5. pray for your enemies or people you just don’t like. bless those who persecute you. don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. (romans 12.14)
6. pray for elected leaders. pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. (1 timothy 2.2)
7. my prayer for you. i close with a prayer in ephesians that i use often as i think of each of you: “when I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. i pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. and may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. may you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (ephesians 3.14-19)