Upholding God’s servants in prayer is a blessed privilege. Although we cannot “go into all the world” ourselves, is it not great to know that we can share in the ministries of others by interceding for them through prayer? As Paul asked his friends to pray that the word of the Lord might have “free course and be glorified” (II Thessalonians 3:1); so we should uphold those who are preaching the gospel. But that is not enough. We must also take part in the work of missions through our giving. (II Corinthians 9)
The Biblical Illustrator tells an interesting story about a devout Christian by the name of William Sewall. He once entered a meeting on behalf of foreign missions just as the men who had taken an offering were returning to their seats. Noting his arrival, the chairman asked the respected believer to lead in prayer. The old gentleman arose to his feet hesitatingly, and then stood there as if he had not heard the request. The chairman then repeated his request for Bro. Sewall to pray, but there was still no response. All this time Sewall was fumbling in his pockets. Finally he pulled out some money and slowly walked to the front and put it in the offering plate. The chairman, thinking he had not been understood, said, “I didn’t ask you to give, Bro. Sewall; I asked you to pray.”
“Oh, yes,” he replied, “I heard you. But I can’t pray until I have given.”
This story has a valuable lesson for us. It is not that praying before giving is wrong, but the most meaningful prayer comes from a willing giver. Let us all pray for those who are “full-time servants,” but let us back our prayers with our giving.
✞Have a continual prayer life.