Lutheran Home Association Blog

Day 30 of Lent: Prayer

Posted on Tue, Apr 09, 2019

dawn-1868418_1920I’m praying for you.  How often aren’t those words the almost predictable response which people give when they hear about a difficult situation or a crisis which someone is facing. I’m not questioning the sincerity of those words when people say them, but why do we only tell people we are praying for them in difficult times?   Why don’t we pray for them all the time?

A favorite analogy of mine about prayer is asking people if they consider prayer to be more like the kitchen sink or a fire extinguisher.  In other words, is prayer something which you use all the time (kitchen sink) or only in emergencies (fire extinguisher)?

Our verses for today give us a good overall view and encouragement regarding prayer -“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. (1Timothy 2:1-2).

There are two big things to note in those two verses.

First of all, note the different kinds or prayers which Paul encourages us to offer.  Paul’s inspired words are a reminder that we don’t just go running to God for help when we have trouble (although God wants us to do that.) He also desires that we come to him and thank him for blessings received or prayers answered.  He also wants us to bring our intercessions – prayers on behalf of others.

Then notice whom he urges us to pray for “all people—  for kings and all those in authority." Two things to note about those whom we are to pray for: 1) all people – this is a great reminder that we should not just pray for a select group of those who are closest to us.  This also includes praying for our enemies. 2)  We are to pray for our leaders – this means leaders in every area of our lives – work, church, government and others.  What a great way to support them!

It is all too easy to treat prayer only like a fire extinguisher.  Don’t give up on and strive to daily (or even more often) make use of the precious privilege God gives us to talk to him in prayer!

Posted by Joel Gaertner

Rev. Joel Gaertner is The Lutheran Home Association Vice President of Ministry and National Director of Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM). He provides spiritual guidance to our entire organization and develops and guides JCM programs in congregations. Pastor Gaertner and his wife, LuAnn, live in Cudahy, Wis., and have two adult children. Outside work, he enjoys golf, walking and watching just about any sporting event, especially the Green Bay Packers.

Tags: Christian Life