Todd Stiles   -  

The Apostle Paul urged his fellow believers to pray for BOB. Not, not Bob, as in a person, but for BOB, as in an acronym. With either apologies or congratulations to those reading this named Bob, consider these three ways Paul exhorted us to pray.

First, pray with a BURDEN. In Romans 10:1, Paul transparently opens up about his deep desire for his fellow Israelites who have yet to be saved. Notice his passionate words:

“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.”

Just earlier (9:1-3), Paul used words like “great sorrow” and “unceasing anguish” to describe his deep feelings of compassion for his own people who were still lost. He even said he’d be willing to be “accursed” and “cut off” if it would result in his people coming to salvation. Now that’s a burden!

Are our prayers for those who have yet to believe rooted in a burden like that? If so, continue in that posture my friend, never losing your zeal for the salvation of others! If not, ask our Lord for a burden for the souls of others that evidences itself in prayers like Romans 10:1.

Second, pray for OPPORTUNITY. Paul expressly asked the believers in the city of Colossae to pray for him and his team that God would “open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ” (Col 4:3). In fact, Paul refers to the concept of open doors several times in his letters, each indicating that he prays—and asks others to pray—for opportunities to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Do we ask God for sovereign moments when we can share his love with others? Do we look for these “open doors,” taking advantage of the opportunities God brings our way in response to our prayers? A burden for others will lead us to pray for Spirit-orchestrated opportunities with those very ones for which we are burdened.

Lastly, pray for BOLDNESS. In his letter to the Ephesian believers, Paul humbly requested they pray that “words may be given to me in opening mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19). Paul desired not only clarity, but courage. So much so, in fact, that he repeated his request in the very next verse. Twice he urged them to intercede for him in regards to boldness.

Have we committed to interceding for ourselves and others in that way? Are we praying that each of us would lose the fear of man and display a righteous fortitude for the sake of Christ? Boldness is precisely what we need when God grants us the witnessing opportunities for which we have prayed.

As we continue journeying together through the end of the year in prayer and fasting, integrate these biblical prayers, would you? Yes, utilize the jumpstart prayer you’re already receiving each morning. And consider praying for BOB, too, asking God for a burden, an opportunity, and boldness.

Pastor Todd