Praying for Effectiveness

“Dear Lord, please help us to reach our community for you. Amen.”

Do you desire to reach your community for Christ? Are you praying effectively to do so? Does God’s Word give any direction regarding what effective gospel ministry looks like?

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Gleaning from Paul’s epistles, we find numerous references to his gospel ministry. These passages give ample instruction for our effectiveness and prayers as we seek to reach others for the honor and glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Below you will find a list of salient passages from Paul’s epistles followed by requests shaped by those passages.

Romans 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.

14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.
15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

 
1 Corinthians 13:8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost,
9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
 
2 Corinthians 12:15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. 
 
Ephesians 6:18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

 
Philippians 1:12 I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,
13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
 
Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel,
6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing-as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf
 
1 Thessalonians 2:1 For you yourselves know, brothers, that our coming to you was not in vain.
2 But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict.
3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive,
4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
 
2 Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you
 
1 Timothy 1:16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.
 
2 Timothy 4:14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.
15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them!
17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
 
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness,
2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began
3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior
 
What we need to pray for: 
  • Eagerness to fulfill our obligation – Romans 1:13-15
  • A wide door of opportunity – 1 Corinthians 13:8-9
  • Willingness to be spent – 2 Corinthians 12:15
  • Ability to speak boldly – Ephesians 6:18-20
  • Circumstances that promote gospel – Philippians 1:12-13
  • The word of truth to bear fruit – Colossians 1:5-7
  • Speaking to please God not man – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-4
  • Advancement and success of God’s word – 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • The display of God’s patience in us as an example to those who will receive eternal life – 1 Timothy 1:16
  • Protection from adversaries – 2 Timothy 4:14
  • Confidence in the word of truth that brings eternal life – Titus 1:1-3

Requests that align with God’s will are requests derived from God’s Word.

 

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About the Author
Nathaniel Pringle serves as the pastor of Eastside Community Bible Church, Milford, Ohio. His goal is to fulfill the commission in Titus 2:1, "But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine." (ESV)

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