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This post was written by Tee Akindele on February 21, 2009
Posted Under: Bible Study Articles,Everyday Christian,ministry

The effective Christian’s prayer ministry

By prayer ministry I do not imply a group of people who form a band and have special meetings in which they gather to pray together, that is ok, but in this short article, my focus is on our individual approach to prayer as every Christian’s ministry.

Many Christians, who have not been properly taught, continue to see prayer merely as an occasion or opportunity to petition or get God to meet their needs or to protect them, in other cases, some see it as a religious ritual that good Christians perform. Not all actually practice prayer as a devotional activity under which we willfully yield ourselves to God so He can have His way in our lives; not many see it as ministering to the Lord, which is instrumental in edifying the church, even as a facilitator of soul-wining efforts for the kingdom.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
- Acts 13:2(NKJV)

God intends for all believers to take prayer as serious business, the church should teach and practice prayer with dedication like it gives to teaching the bible. Alas, many believers are poor in prayer because it isn’t practiced well or is done only casually and ceremonially in church.

… Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
- luke 19:46(NKJV)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
- Eph 6:18(NKJV)

If we really care about our spiritual welfare or Christian walk we would take personal prayer seriously, as the following verses suggests to us certain important reasons to be prayerful:

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
- Mark 14:38(NKJV)

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
- 1 Pet 4:7(NKJV)

But then the ministry of prayer, as practiced and taught in the early church doesn’t major only on praying for ourselves, certain other subjects for prayer are core. We would briefly see a few in this overview article.

Praying for other believers

Brethren, pray for us.
- 1 Thes 5:25(NKJV)

Like I earlier said prayer is ministry, and the central purpose of all ministry is edification or building up of the church. This is the underlining theme in prayer made for other believers or for one another in general, as seen from numerous scriptural references:

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height–
19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us …
- Eph 3:14-20(NKJV)

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
- Phil 1:9-11(NKJV)

See also Eph 1:17-23; Col 1:9-11; 1 Thes 3:12-13.

Common requests in these prayers for believers quoted above are for: deeper insight and understanding in the knowledge of God and his word, spiritual development as well as, personal welfare.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
- 3 John 1:2(NKJV)

Suffering Christians or those facing persecution or some other special difficulty most particularly need our prayers, we owe each other to bear one another’s burdens.

See also praying for ministry leaders: 2 Thes 3:1-2; 2 Corr 1:11.

Praying for persecutors

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
- Math 5:44(NKJV)

See also Luke 6:28.

The importance of this can be observed from numerous contemporary testimonies similar to that of Paul the Apostle, about former persecutors of the people of faith, who themselves were brought to conviction of their sins by the experience they had with certain persons they persecuted. Loving and blessing those who hate us and our gospel gives them an opportunity of coming in contact with the mercy, love and grace of God.

Praying for missions

Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.
- Luke 10:2(NKJV)

As attested, even by our Lord, the prayer of the church goes a long way in the fulfillment of the great commission.

Prayer for our community and for all men in general

1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
- 1 Tim 2:1-4(NKJV)

We are to pray for all men, and also to pray for those who are in authority, the reason for the later being that they can rule wisely and fairly and indeed be keepers of the peace of the society, as it is God’s will, if possible, that we serve Him while still enjoying social peace and tranquility.

In conclusion, we have outlined a few of the responsibilities of a believer in prayer, we must then remember the admonitions all over scripture to keep praying, never to stop praying for one another and for laborers of the gospel as well as for the salvation of souls.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- Jam 5:16b(NKJV)

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Reader Comments

Wonderful piece and very inspiring. “prayer as a devotional activity under which we wilfully yield ourselves to God so He can have His way in our lives; not many see it as ministering to the Lord, which is instrumental in edifying the church, even as a facilitator of soul-wining efforts for the kingdom” -This is very important to note,i’ve always tried to find a way of explaining prayer like this but never did.
Thanks for the insight.

#1 
Written By Tunde on March 24th, 2009 @ 3:17 AM

Thanks for the contribution Tuneri.

#2 
Written By Tee Akindele on March 27th, 2009 @ 3:26 PM

Thanks Tee, this is really inspiring. I now know to expand my prayer network. I love to stand in the gap, but until I read some of these passages again, it has been a closed circle of intercession.
There is not a thing like too much prayers, but a prayer sown now, is like unlocking doors even before arrival.

#3 
Written By Cynthia on July 13th, 2010 @ 10:52 PM

Thanks Cynthia, I’m glad this post was useful to you in some way. I’m sure you wouldn’t stop praying. I also pray that God would continuously bless your work in that part of the world you are in.

#4 
Written By Tee Akindele on July 15th, 2010 @ 7:20 PM

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