John 17:11 “Keep them in Your name.” John 17:15 “Keep them from the evil one.” John 17:17 “Sanctify them through Your truth.” All of this, so that “they may be one/perfected in unity” (Jn. 17:11,21,22,23)
Ephesians 1:17-19 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.”
Ephesians 3:16-19 “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, length, height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”
Philippians 1:9-11 “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Colossians 1:9-12 “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Philemon 6 “and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.”
I Thess. 3:12,13 “and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you; so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
II Thess. 1:11,12 “To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Getting ready here in a couple of hours to introduce this intercessory tool to a neighboring fellowship, whose pastor is out of town. I will end with these practical considerations or steps for how to use it in one’s every day prayer life.
1. Keep the sheet in your Bible or planner or whatever you use daily and pray one or more prayers for those you pray for. 2. Memorize a few of the prayers so you can pray them when you don’t have your sheet or Bible with you. 3. Familiarize yourself with the context of each of these prayers to increase your overall understanding of them. 4. Read these prayers in different versions of the Bible to help in your understanding of them. 5. What about praying for the lost? Well other than Rom. 10:1, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.” we don’t really have recorded prayers for the lost. We have the command from I Tim. 2:1-5, which is focused on the lost in our cities and nations, to pray for all men, which of course includes the lost. The John 17 passages are clearly for those already saved. And so are the rest of these recorded prayers.
So these passages are primarily for those already saved, and perhaps the reason is because only when the Church is filled up to all the fullness of Christ and the Holy Spirit do the lost have a chance of truly meeting the Lord and being properly discipled and shepherded.
Jesus in John 17 says as Father answers His prayers and we become a united people in Christ – the world will then know that He is the Son of God – – “so that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
Maybe one of the reasons we have not effectively reached the lost is because so few believers are faithfully praying biblical prayers for the saints!
Maybe as more and more of us begin to do this, we will see the lost impacted in a far greater way! 6. So should we not pray for things like financial provision and healing for the sick and family relationships gone awry, etc.? Of course we should and can. Anything in scripture we know God cares about and wills for us we can and should pray for. But believers tend to only focus on those obvious felt needs, and thus the church is in the feeble state it is in. 7. Finally, please know that God responds to our faith in prayer, not our perfect words or even perfect theology, though that is not an excuse to be sloppy in our theology.