We have been living in Spain for six weeks now and it’s really starting to feel different than when we’ve just visited another country. Whether visiting or living in another culture, one neat thing for a Christian is to worship with other believers. Spaniards praise with passion and worship with a wonder that’s so refreshing to us.
Today that came with a little bit of conviction. The pastor read a longer passage from Ephesians 6; and verse 18 stuck out to me: “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” While trying to follow along with my very primary Spanish, I realized that for most of my life, I’ve failed to pray for the global, trans-denominational Church.
This verse not only gives a clear instruction that we should pray for other Christ-followers, but it gives clues to how we can do it.
If you’re like me, you often don’t do something right away because you’re afraid you won’t know how. I know I’m supposed to pray for someone who lives thousands of miles away in a different culture and climate and speaks a different language, but I’m afraid my prayer will be irrelevant. One clue to how to pray for these is in the first sentence of the verse. Praying in the Spirit helps us pray things that we could never know or understand. It’s a practice of faith in a God that is bigger than our knowledge.
A related verse is this: 1 Peter 5:9 “Stand firm against [the enemy], and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.” If we’re going through trials and challenges, so is someone else. Someone with maybe nothing else in common but that trial or trouble. By submitting our time in prayer we train our mind in an understanding of trust in God.