"Devote yourselves to prayer and being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2
"I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of truth." 1 Timothy 2:1-4
I find that many times my prayers are downright selfish. I pray for my wants and my needs to be met like I am the only one on the planet . Even when I pray for healing, many times it is healing for family members or for friends who are close to me. I pray for protection for myself and my family. I pray for blessing for myself and my family and for my church family. Yep, many of my prayers are just downright selfish. And though, I don't think it is wrong to pray for myself, I do think it is wrong to only pray for myself and turn with a blind eye to the needs of my community. Paul told the Colossians to be devoted to prayer. He asked them to pray for him. He asked them to pray for each other. He asked them to pray that the gospel would be preached and lost souls would be saved in the community. Paul told Timothy to pray and to intercede for all people, even the kings and those in authority in his community. What an awesome responsibility we have as Christ followers! We must be a people of prayer for our communities. We must pray for the gospel to be preached in our communities and lost souls to be saved.
I have been challenged by God's Word this week to not only pray for my own needs but to also pray for the needs of my community. Recently a few ladies approached me about getting signs printed and putting them out in the yards of our community. These signs are a call to prayer. These signs are a call to community prayer. When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in Mark 12, He responded this way: "The most important one is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your NEIGHBORS as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Jesus made it clear to the teachers, to His followers then, and to His followers now that we are to love God and we are to love people. I know that when people I love have a need, I pray for them. Now I understand that I am called to love all people, which means I have a lot of praying to do. I can only hope that when Jesus comes again and if I am still living, He will find me praying for the community...serving God and serving others.