“Pray For The Gospel And Its Teachers”Categories: Prayer, Sunday Family Report Articles, The Bible, The Church
While the Lord goes to great pains to emphasize in his Word that all believers are of equally great value in his sight, he does give particular attention in the New Testament to those who propagated the spread of the Gospel message. Those men and women—many of whom we would call “missionaries” today—willingly incurred personal risk and hardship in and effort to take history’s most worthwhile message “to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15). Christians of their era knew the power of God was at work in these brothers and sisters, and so they prayed for their success.
In Acts 4, after two of the apostles—Peter and John—had been arrested for teaching the gospel, the believers gathered to pray to God. And while they acknowledge the sizable opposition they face (Acts 4:27), they also confidently express their believe that God has been in control the whole time (v. 28). Their prayer, then, is for the boldness necessary to continue to teach the lost openly in spite of the opposition they face. And God answers their prayer with astonishing church growth through the rest of Acts.
Later, in one of his letters to Christians, the apostle Paul would request prayers for himself along much the same vein. “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” (Col. 4:2-4) Paul believed in the power of prayer. He knew how important it was to the spread of the gospel and to his ministry to fellow Christians. His prayer is primarily for two things: opportunity and clarity of the message.
Obviously, these prayers ought to be easily echoed by believers today. Our mission has not changed despite how much our world may have seemed to change. And so we would do well to pray for those whose life’s work consists of teaching the gospel to the lost. We would do well to pray for their boldness, to celebrate their successes, and to imitate their examples of faith. The message of the cross is the power of God to those of us who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18). Let’s pray for many, many more to receive that power!
- Dan Lankford, evangelist