The more I read Paul’s writings, the more I am struck by how much he believes in—more than that, how much he utterly depends upon other people’s prayers.
- He finishes his letter to the Ephesian church by asking them to pray that he, this great evangelist, would continue to be brave enough to speak the gospel.
- Perhaps the two examples I am most struck by are what we find in 2 Corinthians and then in Philippians: in both of these Paul says that God will deliver him through the help of people’s prayers. He is convinced that people’s prayers will be the difference makers.
- And then, at the conclusion of 1 Thessalonians, perhaps most simply Paul writes, “Brothers, pray for us.”
Paul is aware of two significant truths. First, he in his weakness and sinfulness is utterly inadequate for the enormous, glorious task he has been given by God to do. But secondly, when people pray, God responds, and through these prayers he can fulfill his calling.
This weekend, both the Hinsdale and the Palos elders will be gathering (in two locations) to plan for the upcoming year and to consider carefully where God is directing Trinity. More and more I am aware of how insufficient we are for the task we elders have been given. And yet, God has given us prayer. Through the help of your prayer, I believe God can empower us to do what he calls us to do.
So, for this weekend, and throughout the year, I join with Paul in saying, "Brothers and sisters, pray for us."