Links Daily Devotional

Consistent and Specific

…be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me… (Ephesians 6:18-19, NIV)

When conversing with leaders of Links Fellowships about increasing the spiritual effectiveness of their groups, we often issue this straightforward warning: avoid politics.

The principle reason for this is that if you have newcomers to your Fellowship—and we should always be desiring newcomers!—you quickly risk sending them packing if what they discover is another political conversation. Even if they are on your political side, they’re justified in thinking, I can talk like this in the bar with my regular buddies. Who needs a Bible study for this?

Another difficulty with bringing the conversation around to politics is that it is very hard to separate the general from the specific. In all honesty, we are almost universally given to taking up the political perspective that reflects and supports the life we are living.

Wonderfully, however, we do not need to caution against such a co-mingling when it comes to one of the vital activities of a Links Fellowship (or any similar small group). That activity is prayer. In prayer, we may speak of the general and the specific, without reservation that one will be spoken to the detriment of the other.

At the end of his letter to the Ephesians, just after completing his survey of the elements of the armor of God, Paul gave the believers instructions to pray.

His instruction began with the action itself: “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). Don’t hold back in the fervor or the words of your prayers. Be lively in prayer. Be verbose. Let loose.

But also important is the two-pronged direction of those prayers. First, Paul exhorted the Ephesians (and all others who read this pass-along letter) to consistently pray for all the saints—that is, for all those who stand with Jesus. What brothers and sisters comes to mind right now? Pray for them. We know full well what it means to be embattled in our walk with Jesus, from small irritations to full-fledged trials. All of these are the design of the enemy to knock us off the mark. Just as you would have others pray for you today, pray for those in Christ both near and far. Pray today, pray tomorrow. Keep praying.

And then Paul asked for prayer specifically pointed in his direction: “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.” While we can anticipate the needs common to any believer, we other times know exactly what a certain friend is requesting. Pray like a sharpshooter, with your friend’s need in fixed sight.

Continue in prayer. Pray specifically. The results of these actions will draw outsiders, in addition to fortifying the faith of those already in Christ.

Jeff Hopper
March 25, 2015
Copyright 2015 Links Players International
The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.