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Powerful Prayers



We desire to be spiritual, prayerful people, but at times, it’s hard to know where to start. In this talk, Ben Stuart looks at three of Paul’s prayers in Scripture and shares how we can pray for those same things today as we call on God to move in our city.

Key Takeaway

As we pray, we head towards a destination of salvation for others and boldness for us to proclaim the gospel. As we long for His Presence, we long for others to experience Him as well.

If you're trying to find a water source, it's wise to follow the footsteps of those that need it to survive. Walk the trail led by those who are desperate for the destination.

Many of us want to be truly spiritual people. We need guides. We learned that desperation is a guide. We saw Jehosephat allow desperation to make him seek the Lord, to blaze a trail into the Presence of the Lord. What was against him was bigger than what he had, so he sought the Lord.

Desire is our second guide. Where desperation got us into His Presence, it's desire that will cause us to linger there. See Psalm 84. Our soul longs for God. It can be scary to enter in because we're not perfect, but we have a friendship with God and a fear of God because of His Covenant. King Jesus is a sympathetic high priest who came to take our sin and shame away, give us access to Our Father, and overflow His grace. We have all sorts of manners of prayer; The Lord's Prayer and ACTS are just a couple. The structure of a place, plan, and time can be helpful.

Destination is also a guide. Paul often opened his letters with prayers for them and then ended with telling them what to pray for him and his companions. The ending is always filled with patterns. Pay attention to where there is repetition. The author is emphasizing something.

Why are we calling on Heaven? What's the destination? Let's look at the way Paul prayed and see what he continually asked for.

1 Thessalonians 5:25: "Brothers, pray for us."

2 Thessalonians 3:1: "Finally, brothers, pray for us." It's in the present active tense which means to do it continually, persevere.

Paul asks that the gospel would run! Let the message of the good news be proclaimed all over the world. Once the gospel is spread, pray that it's honored there. See Psalm 147:15. He asks for progress of the word going out.

Paul asks that there would be protection of God's people proclaiming the gospel. See 2 Thessalonians 3:2. Even though it's a word of grace and forgiveness for all people, some won't want it and will actively and maliciously malign you. They don't like the Presence of God; therefore, they don't like the presence of you.

Colossians 4:2 emphasizes the same thing. Pray continually. Be devoted to prayer. Be watchful and thankful. Remembering prayers answered in the past will motivate prayers answered in the present.

Colossians 4:3 asks them again, "to pray for us!" Pray that the door will be open and that he will have clarity when he goes through it. He knows the door is opened wide AND many people oppose him. He doesn't take the position that the door is open, BUT many people oppose him. He goes through that door and ends up planting the church in Ephesus.

Ephesians 6:17. Paul tells them to put on the helmet of salvation. He gets this idea from Isaiah 59:14-17. Truth has stumbled in the public square. He means that people are being dishonest for political gain. Evil is everywhere, and you are attacked if you depart from it. All of that displeased God, so He put on the armor, including the helmet of salvation. He broke a pathway through sin so His Children could come home. The helmet of salvation isn't your helmet; it's His. Jesus fought for you, won the battle, and then put His helmet on your head. You wear it as a trophy.

Ephesians 6:18. When you pray, pray with your Bible and the newspaper open. Pray informed about what you should be praying for. Pray at all times in the Spirit. Let Him guide you.

Ephesians 6:19-20. Paul prays for opportunity and boldness. Paul was in prison facing the death penalty and his perspective was if he made it to Rome for trial, he could proclaim the gospel there. He counts his life as nothing. He just wants to further the gospel.

In the early 1900s, a major revival happened in Wales. Here are 10 takeaways from the Welsh Revival, according to Sam Storms.

  1. There was joy. Evan Roberts persistently prayed for 13 for a move of God, but he didn't grow hard. He was known for his immense joy.
  2. It started at a prayer meeting when a young girl softly declared her love of Jesus.
  3. It was the result of earnest agonizing prayer and heartbroken humility.
  4. It spread without any advertisement.
  5. People were saved. There was salvation.
  6. There was a noticeable absence of preaching during it because preaching preceded and precipitated the move of the Spirit.
  7. There was an intense passion for Jesus. (That in and of itself is revival).
  8. There was an incredible fervent desire for singing and worship.
  9. There was an overwhelming sense of God's Presence.
  10. There were prolonged meetings of prayer and worship.


"If you're trying to find a water source, it's wise to follow the footsteps of those that need it to survive. Walk the trail led by those who are desperate for the destination."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
  • Colossians 4:2-4
  • Ephesians 6:17-20
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:25
  • Psalm 147:17
  • Isaiah 59:14-17
  • Psalm 84
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.