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Monday, May 30, 2016

PRAYING FOR SPIRITUAL LEADERS

Most of us are aware that the Bible calls us to pray for those who have authority over us in government. But let me suggest that we need to pray quite as much for spiritual leaders whom God has raised up to touch our lives and strengthen His church. Many of you are already praying, hopefully daily, for your pastor, your Bible study teacher or that person who has a great influence in your life.
Beyond praying for those whom we know personally are some who teach and inspire us. Many of these influence entire nations and much of the world. It is crucial to pray for their spiritual, moral and even physical protection. You know that the enemy is bombarding them in every way he can think of. You can easily imagine how many people would be harmed if they fell into sin, heresy and public disgrace. And who knows what God might do through them because you are praying.
I pray every day for Eric Metaxis. I know my prayer is part of God using him. There are other writers with not nearly so public personas that I pray for. I once shared Christ with someone by getting them to read Vienna Prelude, by Bodie and Brock Thoene. I pray for them and their powerful novels. My wife and I read Phillip Yancey's Disappointment With God, years ago when our daughter was critically ill. My wife was reading in the night in our daughter's hospital room tears streaming down her cheeks as God ministered to her. A nurse came running into the room wondering why Marsha was crying.
"Oh, I'm just reading this book." She held it up. The nurse charged her not to read it any more in the hospital room in the night. God used that book in our lives in those days.
Do you pray for Franklin Graham? Are you praying for his son, William? I also continue to pray for another of Billy Graham’s grandsons, Tullian Tchividjian, after all that has befallen him. I am sure much of it is his own fault. Who knows how God might restore him. And I still pray for Billy in these final years of his life.

I think we need to pray daily for Tim Keller with his emphasis on the gospel touching all of life. I pray with him and with Redeemer Presbyterian in Manhattan as they desire the number of believers in New York to triple in the next ten years. We need to pray for Ravi Zacharias and the ministry of his team members in more than a dozen countries across the world. Ravi will be on hundreds of university campuses this year. 
I often discover some new preacher to pray for, maybe one that I should have been praying for all along. I just added Chip Ingram and David Jeremiah to my daily prayer list. I can't wait to see who God calls to my attention next. God may use me to pray for a Luther, a Wesley, another C.S. Lewis or an Elijah for these days. My prayers could become vital support for the two witnesses that stand before all the earth in Revelation 11. Whom will God use you to pray for to further His kingdom on the earth? 

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