Pray This Over One Another

We kicked off our Men's Bible Study last night in Philippians. The bulk of the first 11 verses are Paul's written prayer for "the saints" in Philippi and we talked about the difference of quality and emphasis between of Paul's prayer for them and most of our prayers for ourselves or anybody else. His time in prison, separated from these people he loved stirred his affection and provoked his prayers for them.

This made me think back to something I read last week. The Gospel Coalition did a day of fasting and prayer on April 4th. In the course of the day John Piper was asked to pray for families during this shelter in place season. I had the same thought during reading his prayer as when reading Paul's prayer last night... "That's how you pray."

Certainly Piper's prayer isn't Scripture, though it does include a lot of Scripture, and I thought one way to love your brothers and sisters this week would be to explicitly echo the prayer he prayed that day. We don't always know what to pray for people, but this would be a great place to start:

“Father in heaven, I pray earnestly now that mothers and fathers would get a rock under their feet. A rock of biblical truth and beauty and glory so that they have a place to stand with their children and with each other and in their ministries. And I pray they would have eyes to see, the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened that they could see who they really are in Christ, that they were chosen before the foundation of the world, that they were predestined unto adoption to the praise of the glory of your grace, that they were redeemed by the blood of Jesus, that they were made alive by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, and that they were sealed by the Spirit of adoption unto the day of redemption, and that they have an inheritance that cannot be shaken no matter what.

And so grant that these parents would have that kind of rock under their feet, and when they are filled with that truth, may they have resources, Lord, to overflow with patience and energy, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness, everything that’s needed for them in these extraordinary days of family life.

Grant, Oh Father, to dads that they would feel the special calling to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and grant that moms would feel that amazing force of Proverbs 1:8, ‘Sons, do not neglect the teaching of your mothers,” and so fill the mothers with solid, biblical teaching. Forbid that our parents would put sentimental substitutes in the place of solid, biblical truth which is what their children need right now.

And then grant that husbands, Lord, would not be harsh with their wives, but love them like Jesus loved the church. Our nerves are frayed in these days, Lord, locked up together, how easy it is to become irritable. Forbid that dads would be harsh with their wives. And grant that the wives would be like Peter said, not be afraid of anything that is frightening as they partner with their husbands in this enormous responsibility of caring for their children.

So Lord, in all of this, grant that your purposes in these extraordinary coronavirus days would be realized. Grant that the genuineness of our faith would come through the furnace of affliction like gold. And so glorify your great name as You do good to your people and their families, I pray. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

John Piper, TGC Day of Fasting and Prayer, April 4, 2020

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