Praying for the Preachers, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #115)

spiritual-warfare

A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 6:18-20:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

—-

J.B. Johnston said, “If prayer meetings fail in a congregation, so will the ministry of the pastor become unfruitful and the preaching of the word fail to convert sinners and promote holiness in the professors of religion.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Someone asked me, ‘Do you pray for the dead?” I said, “No, I preach to them!” I think every pew in every church is death row. Think about that! They’re dead! They sing about God; they talk about God, but they’re dead! They have no living relationship (with God).”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Missionaries in Burma reported an “ingathering quite surpassing anything known in the history of the mission.” Among the Burmese ethnic group known as the Karens, two thousand were baptized in 1905, ten times the usual number. In a single church, 1,340 of the Shans, another ethnic group, were baptized in December of that year.”

—-

As he continues with the theme of the importance of prayer in having victory in spiritual battles, Paul asks the Ephesian believers to pray for him. Pastors, when was the last time you asked your congregation to pray for you. No matter how talented or gifted you are, you can always use the power of the Holy Spirit which comes in answer to the prayers of others for you. We as Christians speak often of praying for our governmental leaders, but God wants us to pray for our leaders in the body of Christ as well.

What should we pray for? First, we should pray “that utterance may be given unto” them. The word “utterance” simply means the ability to speak words. The Bible says that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” For one reason or another, in His divine wisdom, God has chosen that the message of salvation be passed down verbally through words. People must hear the Gospel in order to believe it. Scripture asks, “How can they hear without a preacher?” We ought to be praying that God would give His preachers the ability to preach the Gospel and that those preachers would submit to His will and actually preach.

Then, Paul asks the people to pray, “that I may open my mouth boldly.” It is one thing to preach the Gospel unopposed by the world and the devil. But it is another thing to preach the Gospel when you face arrest, ridicule, persecution, and death. Paul, as he wrote this letter, was in jail for preaching the Gospel. So, he asked God’s people to pray that God would give him boldness to continue preaching.

In this day and time, we need more preachers who will preach boldly and who will not be bent and blown by every wind and wave of opposition. That is why you need to pray for your pastor. You might not be aware of what kind of pressure he is facing to preach or not preach a certain way. There will be people in the church and outside the church who don’t want him to preach against their sin. There will be secular and government organizations who don’t want him to preach that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life — and that He is the ONLY Way, Truth, and Life. They need our prayers that they might preach.

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