August 30, 2009

For Christlike Living

Ephesians 6:18-20

With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Ephesians 6:18


Warfare doesn’t normally involve just individuals; it engages whole communities. This is also true with spiritual warfare. In spiritual battle, we are to be concerned not only for ourselves but for all of God’s people. Christians need to have a global perspective of who is at the forefront of spiritual battles with the forces of evil. It is not uncommon to pray for people who are ill, who are facing hard times, or who live in an environment of persecution. Prayers for people in physical need can be heard in many places.

It is less common to pray for someone’s spiritual well-being. But in this world, as Paul puts it, “our strug-gle is … against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). And when spiritual warfare is part of our daily experience, it is very difficult for any of us to have a sense of well-being. So we all need each other’s prayers always.

Praying in the Spirit for others is itself a faith-building exercise. It involves giving of ourselves for the benefit of others who are part of the body of Christ. We may not know precisely the nature of the battle, or the piece of armor that is most needed in a situation, but we know of the struggle—and that is sufficient reason to pray. It is an unselfish and blessed thing to do. Praying this way is also an exercise in obedience, because we are instructed to be intercessors for all.

Dear Lord, teach us again how to pray, not only for ourselves but also for your people everywhere who need your special care. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Peter Borgdorff

Dr. Peter Borgdorff has been a pastor and administrator in the Christian Reformed Church for 40 years, most recently serving as executive director till his retirement in 2006. He and his wife, Janet, have five children and 14 grandchildren.

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