June 19, 2009
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Ephesians 6:18 – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (NIV)

Mom was a Roman Catholic, so praying to the saints came naturally to her. She had her favourites like St. Monica and St. Theresa, but usually when she was praying for me, especially during my drinking sprees, she would pray to St. Jude. When I asked her why she chose St. Jude, she answered, "He's the saint for all lost causes." I used to laugh at that, and so did Mom, but at times, I think she was serious. And I guess when I had my conversion experience and eventually became a Presbyterian pastor, she probably put it down to and chalked it up for St. Jude.

When Paul writes about praying and saints, he talks about praying for them and not to them. He's referring to the ordinary men and women in the church, who devote their lives to God and sincerely serve Christ's kingdom. "Saints" is just another name that Paul uses to describe church members — people who give their time, talents, and resources for the well-being, mission, and ministry of the local church. They are not superheroes or holy servants; they are just ordinary people who have an extraordinary faith. So when Paul talks about praying for the saints, he's encouraging the Ephesians — and us — to pray for our churches.

Let's take time out of our busy schedules today so that we can pray for the churches that we belong to. Let's ask God to bless the people who serve Him day by day, week by week, and year after year.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the churches to which we belong. Thank You for the people who regularly gather together to worship and adore You, to serve and glorify You. Thank You for the faith we share and for the promises of the gospel that we try to claim for ourselves and to express and impart in the communities where we abide. Bless all the saints in our midst. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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