Shepherding through Prayer
This article appears in the August edition of Tabletalk magazine.
The Apostle Paul was concerned about the church in Ephesus’ being shepherded properly. He labored there, instructed her elders, and wrote letters to the church and their pastor Timothy to that end. Yet how did Paul shepherd this congregation when he was absent? By prayer.
Years after planting this church, Paul’s letter from prison describes his prayers for them. “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers” (Eph. 1:16). Paul was a constantly bubbling fountain of prayer for this church. How can church leaders constantly flow in prayer for the church as Paul did?
He prefaced this account of his prayer by saying that there was a reason for his praying this way (v. 15). What was it? In the opening verses of Ephesians, he testifies to the salvation of the triune God: these saints were chosen in love by the Father, redeemed by the blood of the Son, and sealed by the power of the Spirit (vv. 3–14). Consequently, Paul flowed with triune prayers that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation” (v. 17).