REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 8, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.”
“Be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
I often room with this pastor whenever I travel with AMI pastors. We’ve gotten so used to each other’s habits (both good and bad—no details please) that there are no surprises or odd moments between us. For instance, since I am unable to sleep for too long whenever I am on the road, I am up quite early to pray; to avoid waking up the pastor, I pray in the bathroom where I stay for some time. Once, while I was praying, I heard the door being opened and then quickly close. Knowing that my roommate, not wanting to bother me, left the room to look for a restroom, I quickly got out to tell him to come back.
There are many people whose prayer life is much richer and longer than mine but I do try to pray at least an hour a day since Christ expected his disciples to pray that long (Matt. 26:40). For those who run out of things to pray in about five minutes, that might seem too long. One reason some people can pray two to three hours a day is because they understand the art of intercessory prayer. Just as Paul prayed for his disciple Philemon, we pray for other people, consistently and specifically.
During the Vision Trip of 2013, I met a vibrant young lady from California, who belongs to the Screen Actor’s Guild, and is looking for a role in a sitcom. One day, I abruptly asked her to give a short speech after winning an imaginary Emmy. Not quite sure of what I was up to, she, nevertheless, went along, thanking the production crew, her families, and finally, Jesus Christ. Upon hearing that, I said, “Since you plan to give glory to Christ, I will pray that you will soon get a role.” Thus, I have been praying for her consistently ever since.
When you add to your daily prayer the prayer needs of others, that’s how you can end up praying for an hour or longer daily. And there is a lot of joy, and even a sense of fulfillment that comes from consistently praying for people whom you know, as well as those who you don’t know as well, like missionaries. I invite you this morning to pray for someone, with all your heart.
Prayer: Dear God, I cannot fathom at this point how I can pray for five minutes daily let alone an hour. But I do want to and need to pray, not only for myself but also for others. Lord, help me to understand the importance and the beauty of intercessory prayer; motivate me to actually do it consistently. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 29
Lunch Break Study
Read Col. 4:12: “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”
Matt. 26:38b, 40-1: “‘Stay here and keep watch with me’ . . . Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. 41 ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”
Eph. 6:18-9: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”
Questions to Consider
- What are some prerequisites in order for us to engage in consistent intercessory prayers?
- What are some specific things that we can pray for others?
- Is your prayer life adequate? What keeps you from disciplining yourself to pray consistently?
- Those who have wrestled know that that sport demands intense conditioning. During a match, there is no time to think about other things except to wrestle the opponent. Likewise, to pray consistently, we need to focus and avoid doing things that would take away the desire to pray (like mindlessly watching TV or surf the internet).
- Epaphras prayed that the Colossian believers would become more mature and assured in their faith. Since Jesus told the three disciples to pray in order to not fall into temptation, we can pray for others that they do not succumb to it as well. Jesus himself asked them to support him in prayer during the most agonizing moment of his life prior to the crucifixion.
- For most people, it begins with a lack of will and absence of desperation; they have become too comfortable with the things as they are. We don’t pray for others because of our self-adsorption has rendered us indifferent to their needs. Overall, we have no real plan to establish a prayer life. It would be helpful to have a designated place and set time to pray.
Before you go to sleep today, pray for at least three people whose needs you are well-aware of. And then, write a short prayer asking God to help you to pray more diligently for others.