Paul is a prayer hero of mine because he models for me constantly how a good spiritual leader shows appreciation for the people he is serving. If you read his epistles, you will see how often he praises the believers in those places and how he calls on God’s blessings on their lives.
One such example would be the Christians in the Macedonian city of Philippi: “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel” (Philippians 1:3-5). What makes prayer so valuable is that it is not bound by distance, age, wealth, or physical strength. Communication was very slow back in those days—Paul was separated from most of his converts most of the time.
But through prayer he was close to them and close to the Lord. That joyful prayer bond was a first installment of the time in heaven coming soon when there will no longer be any separation. Paul encouraged his readers also to pray for him, and not just as a ploy for attention but because he really needed the spiritual boost.
Are you a spiritual leader? Would you pause right now and pray for the people you serve? Do you know missionaries who serve far away? Would you pause right now and pray for them?
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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