Romans 12:9-12. Let love be genuine…be constant in prayer.
There is no better way to love and to demonstrate your love for the community of faith than to pray for one another. Often prayer is last on our list, but we must move it to the top. Of all the things that Paul is listing her in Romans 12 as ways to love, this one leaves us with no excuses. Every Christian can pray. Every Christian is praying (and you might not even know it).
Romans 8:26-27. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Even when we don’t know how to pray the Spirit is praying in and through us.
This is why Paul can say constantly be praying.
The word constant here means constant. Devoted. Persevering. To continue all the time in one place.
There’s no doubt that none of us is praying like we want to be, or know we should be. But have you thought about your praying as an act of love? Or as the overflow of the life of Christ in you? Have you thought about it as part of being a “living sacrifice” (12:1) and as part of your “mind renewal” (12:2)? Does praying connect you to your union with Christ and to your union with the Body of Christ?
Prayer IS the outflow of our union with Christ. It is the intersection of grace and faith. Of being IN CHRIST and CHRIST IN YOU.
We can pray because we are in Christ. We can boldly approach the throne of grace. We have access to God himself, our Abba. We are represented by Jesus and the Spirit in prayer.
And we can pray for each other from the love that Christ has put into our hearts. The Jesus in us wants to pray for others. We can pray in faith AS Jesus. Wow.
The point here (especially in Romans 12) is that prayer is a communal not only a personal discipline. Prayer awakens us to the needs of the body. It deepens our commitment to each other. It presents us to God as an instrument of his righteousness to be used in the life of another believer.
Who did you pray for today? Yesterday? This week? This month?
Do you want to know God better? Then pray for others. It is in prayer that we behold the glory of God in the face of Christ. It is in prayer that God’s heart becomes our heart. it is in prayer that we literally give of our time and energy to sacrifice for the cause of our Savior. It is in prayer that we truly find that “to live is Christ.”