Faithlife Sermons

The Heart of a Prayer Warrior

Intercessory Prayer  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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According to Ray Pritchard, “If you want to learn how to pray, there are two main things you should do. First, you learn to pray by praying. That’s the most basic step. Open your mouth and start talking to God.... Second, you learn to pray by listening to others as they pray.”
This evening, I want us to no only pray, but to listen and learn from another how to pray.
In my teaching on prayer this evening, we are going to begin by listening to a prayer by an early Christian believer. His name is Paul—a follower of Christ and an apostle and leader in the early Church.
The subject of his prayer is a group of Christians living and serving in the community of Philippi.
This is his prayer:
Philippians 1:9–11 ESV
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Pastor and Bible teacher, Warren Wierse, recognized the importance of this prayer. He said: “Paul always took time to pray for people; his prayer here is that they might live full lives. An empty Christian is a tragedy! He prayed that they might be full of love and discernment; that they might be faithful in their daily walk; and that they might be fruitful in Christian service. This was a prayer for Christian maturity.”
Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1992), 560–561.
After a careful read of the New Testament, one is confident that Paul was a prayer warrior. He prayed for people. He interceded on behalf of fellow Christians.
The heart of a prayer warrior is focused on the welfare and maturity of believers.
A prayer for God’s People
Love for fellow-believers may develop in the qualities of knowledge and depth of insight.
Knowledge: (1) mental grasp of spiritual truth; (2) knowing God in an intimacy made possible through his self-disclosure and received by faith.
A better knowledge of God and his ways will promote greater harmony within the fellowship.
Depth of insight: perception and tact to make moral decisions.
Christian maturity will encourage unity.
These two Christian qualities were necessary in a community where a tendency to disunity and fault-finding was present and needed to be put right.
The most effective way to influence another is to prayer for that person, and if a word of rebuke or correction has to be spoken, let it be prayed over first, and then spoken in love.
Paul demonstrates an essential quality of being a prayer warrior: a genuine love for fellow Christians.
What did Jesus say:
John 13:34 ESV
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
What did John the Apostle say:
1 John 4:7 ESV
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Key Point: An intercessor is a person prays for others—a prayer motivated by a genuine love for people.
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