With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
When I was a child my dreams were frequently spent rescuing pretty girls from monsters and overweight kidnappers. Pretty weird, huh? To be completely honest with you, I am now half way through my twenties and still have the occasional dream where I must rescue my wife from a twenty-foot high chicken or some type of sea monster. As a husband (or a second grader sure that he’s found true love) one of my greatest instincts is to protect those I care for. Sometimes I think about these things so much that they go beyond my daily living and find their way into my dreams.
I’ll never forget the first time I woke up from a dream praying out loud. I was in college and had spent the evening in some extremely serious prayer over a couple of my friends. Because of the extent of the situation I had forced myself to pray longer, harder and bolder than I had ever previously prayed. To my surprise, just because my body was too tired to continue on in prayer, that didn’t mean my mind was ready to stop. I went to bed and quickly fell asleep only to wake up less than an hour later scared, sweaty, and praying faster than I know how to talk… that was weird.
Now, in the context of Ephesians 6:18, I have been somewhat convicted over my complacency in praying for other believers. In my twenty something years of life, why have I woken up so few times in prayer? I have certainly spent more time protecting loved ones than praying in my dreams. I am ashamed to admit how much this reflects my personal life. Pointless daydreams are much more frequent than my “prayers for the saints.”
When was the last time you seriously prayed for another believer? When Paul says that we are to pray at all times in the Spirit, I hardly believe he’s referring to a one line prayer every Wednesday night at youth group. Neither is he referring to your last five minutes before jumping into bed. “Praying at all times” implies that conversation with God is a continual action taking place in your heart. As a child of God you are responsible for lifting up your friends, teachers, parents, pastors and leaders in prayer. You’re to pray for their protection, encouragement, and spiritual growth. When you fail to do this you are leaving them more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks. Your prayers count! They are needed greatly and if you fail to make them a priority in your life, one day God will hold you responsible for your selfishness.
I challenge you to make a list of three people in different areas of your life. Ask them each to give you three ways you can pray for them. Carry that list around with you or write the prayer requests on a rubber band and place it around your wrist. Then, the next time your doodling while the teacher is talking, you can take a moment to pray for the requests on your wrist. Whatever your method, just make sure you pray. It’s your duty.