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Men at Prayer

Doorways to Prayer: Compassion

  • Ralph Lehman
  • March 25, 2022

We must pray for those in need.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” I Timothy 2:1-4.

We are continuing our study in the ways that God leads us to prayer with a focus on praying for others to come to know Him. Originally, my intention was to continue with a focus on God and His character, but the events in Ukraine warrant our looking at another way that God directs us to prayer – suffering in the world.

The news and social media have provided us with a litany of images from Ukraine, of explosions and deaths, shelled out building and refugee families. Other images are not so easily conveyed by video, the companions of war – fear, emotional damage, deprivation, hunger, lack of medical care, and destroyed livelihoods.

As Christians, we should not feel hopeless. The chronicles of the Church’s beginning include giving for others less fortunate. This was foreshadowed by the likes of Abraham pleading for Sodom. Likewise, Nehemiah, who had compassion on his fellow countrymen, served as a pre-type of Christ who had compassion on Man and became man. Nehemiah prayed often to God for Jerusalem, just as Christ wept and prayed the city. 

The passage from I Timothy presents this very nicely. We are to pray for all people (verse 1) and God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (verse 4). With these charges in mind, the vast suffering in this world should weigh on us more heavily to engage in prayer for revival. Pray for those who are suffering and pray for our local churches who, through giving, good works, and prayer, may alleviate the suffering of others and point them to Christ.

What pray tell, offers more hope than that revival breaks out where there was once war and death?

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