Be Constant in Prayer
Written by Ps Zheng Haoren
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
One of the first things God taught me in full-time ministry was to value prayer. He did this through the godly example of a volunteer. It was a Saturday morning. My colleagues and I had planned for a prayer meeting and we thought the volunteers could be given a break as they had been tirelessly serving week after week in outreach work and discipleship. This volunteer called. When told of the prayer meeting, he immediately said, “I’ll be there as soon as I can. Prayer meetings are important!” I was so moved. This volunteer continues to set the example, even after 18 years.
What does “be constant in prayer” mean? It means persistence in prayer. The author Paul is calling on God’s people to persevere in and be devoted to prayer. It means we are to cultivate praying as a habit and not be negligent. We are to be unceasing in prayer and not reduce this spiritual discipline to just an occasional exercise.
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29
Who do we pray for? As a framework, we pray for Our People, for Our Church, and for Our World. When we see this framework as concentric circles, we will realise that the core strength that propels the outward ripples comes from “Our People”. It is crucial that we constantly pray for two groups of people – the servant-leaders and the congregation members.
What do we pray for? It is God’s will that His elect conform to the image of Jesus. Our task is therefore to pray for our people to become more and more like Jesus. When Christlikeness prevails and matures in a Church, the impact on the communities beyond will be God-honouring. But how do we know what to specifically pray for each individual? Well, the key lies in knowing our people. It is an integral matter. We need to make the effort in investing time to relate with one another. So being real and relational helps us pray better for each other. Beloved, let’s “be constant in prayer”, asking God to help us be resolved to this task and make it happen!