I often find that my prayers, while sincere and fervent, are too general in nature.
It’s easy to pray for all the missionaries when we could be praying for real people in real situations.
Paul’s prayers were specific and targeted. He wanted the churches to follow Christ devotedly and completely. He prayed for their spiritual growth and for their growing commitment to Christ. He prayed for believers to grow in Christlikeness.
This is especially evident in Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.
He gave thanks for their faith in Christ and love for all the saints. He reminded them that he prayed for them constantly, remembering them in his prayers.
And, his prayers were specific.
“For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you, and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:15-19a).
These are prayers of power. Part of their power is found in targeting believers with prayers about genuine obedience and growth. He wanted the saints to live with hope, understanding their great inheritance, and do ministry in the great power available to every believer–the very power that raised Christ from the dead.
Let us pray that way for one another and for the church. Let us be specific as we ask God to teach us His ways and show us His power in all the saints.