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“Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” -Paul (2 Thess 3:1)
We win the battle for conversions in prayer. We do not manipulate emotions, exaggerate the Christian life, or reduce the message to win people. We pray for God’s power, win the victory on our knees, and harvest people for Christ. Ron Dunn said about the link between prayer and evangelism “Prayer is the warfare. Evangelism is not the attempt to win the battle—it is the clean-up operation.”
For this reason, Paul urged readers to pray for him. He wanted swift results like what he saw in Thessalonica. He knew that God could do in other locations what He had done in Thessalonica if the Thessalonian Christians prayed for him.
Since so much power, promise, and hope reside in prayer, isn’t it time we expanded our prayer lives? Surveys show most pastors pray 22 minutes a day and laypersons 17. We will not win a world on that. Concentrating more in prayer, praying through chapters of the Bible, carving out “islands” of prayer in the morning, afternoon, and evening, using news broadcasts and social media as prayer lists, praying thoughtfully through the prayers of Scripture will all expand our prayer time. As you expand your prayer time, please consider praying for more people. Among those I suggest the following:
I recall training a church in Palmetto, Georgia in evangelism one afternoon before their Sunday evening service. In the training, I instructed them to record the names of people who needed Jesus. After recording them, we prayed for them. After training, we worshipped, and I preached the evening message. When I extended the invitation, one of the young men we had prayed for an hour earlier walked the aisle and professed his faith in Christ. We prayed, and the word of the Lord “ran swiftly” (1 Thess 3:1).
God does not have arthritis. He isn’t slow concerning His promises (2 Pet 3:9). His arms are not short and His ears deaf (Isa 59:1—2). He will hear us when we pray for His word to “run swiftly and be glorified.”
I Stand Amazed,
P.S. I am looking forward to the Generosity Challenge in March! I encourage you and your family to review
The Generosity Ladder (page 4). I will have more to share on the topic in the weeks ahead.