Focal Passage: Ephesians 4:11-16
“I will pray for you!” Often, you say that to another believer and if you’re honest, you never pray. We’ve turned “I’ll pray for you” into a meaningless nicety. I’m as guilty of this as anyone.
What the Apostle Paul envisioned for the church was believers actually praying for one another and building one another up into Christian maturity. Moreover, he envisioned Christians praying specifically for the presence of the Spirit to be evident in the life of a believer.
That Spirit manifests as Christian brothers and sisters using their God-given gifts to love and serve one another. According to the Apostle, God gives His church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers “to build up the body of Christ.” It is the Holy Spirit’s presence, as He works through Christian brothers and sisters, that strengthens and equips the congregation.
We certainly should ask for the needs of other Christians to be met, but more than that, we ought to ask for the presence of the Holy Spirit to be evident in their lives through the outworking of their gifts. That is how God chooses to equip His church to be more like Jesus.
In recognizing my own temptation to tritely say “I’ll pray for you,” only to forget, I now attempt pray for someone on the spot. I ask the Lord to intervene in whatever situation is going on, but I always make a specific request that the presence of the Spirit would be known and felt in the life of the believer for whom I’m praying.
As we encounter requests for prayer, our fellowship in Christ should drive us to faithful and fervent prayer so that the body of Christ might be built up. And let us take every opportunity to speak the “truth in love” so that “the whole body, fitted and knit together” might grow into maturity for the sake of God’s glory.