The Bible Teacher’s Prayer Life

Unfortunately, the thing we need to do most as Bible teachers is the thing we tend to do the least. Pray. Oh we like to talk about it and teach about it.  The question is, do we pray and how do we pray? Bible teachers should note that Jesus prayed for those He taught. We should also note what He prayed. I hope you will take time to look at John 17. Jesus prayed for His disciples. He told the Father that He had taught those the Father had given Him the truth and that He had kept them in the Father’s name (John 17:6-12). He prayed for their unity. He prayed they might be set apart by the truth, which is God’s Word. Bible teachers can do no less for those they are privileged to teach. Jesus prayed that the love with which the Father loved Him would be in those He had taught. Bible teachers need to pray that God’s love will be in those they teach. Are those who teach Scripture called to a greater commitment to prayer than other believers?  James said, “Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1). Jesus said, “Much will be required of everyone who has been given much. And even more will be expected of the one who has been entrusted with more” (Luke 12:48). One could argue from these passages that greater influence, like that of a teacher, translates into greater responsibility. While I will not be dogmatic in arguing teachers have greater responsibility to pray, I will say, without reservation, that teachers have very special prayer needs that are unique to their role. Below is list of prayer helps and Scriptures that you might find helpful as you pray about your role as a teacher of God’s Word.

  • Thank God for the privilege of teaching his truth to his children and ask Him to help you present His Word in its fullnessI have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people” (Col. 1:25-26).
  • Pray for a servant’s heart. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).
  • Ask the Lord to give you the desire to live life in a way that pleases Him, and the desire to do so. “We pray this . . . that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way . . .” (Col. 1:10).
  • Ask the Lord to give you a commitment to integrity. “We have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God” (2 Cor. 1:12).
  • Pray that God will work in your life to develop sensitivity to the needs of others. As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Col. 3:12).
  • Seek the Lord for spiritual maturity. “Let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity” (Heb. 6:1). As we read Scripture let’s learn to ask for what is being elevated and called for in Scripture.  It can give us a whole new prayer life.
  • Ask the Lord for godly friends and positive influences. Then Daniel returned to his house and explained the matter to his friends . . . He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven . . . Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who  . . . trusted in Him . . . and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God (Dan. 2:17-18; 3:28).
  • Ask for help in relating to others like Christ relates to us. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as God in Christ forgave you (Eph. 4:32).
  • Ask the Lord to teach you.   Pray for illumination as you study the passage(s) that are the focus for the lesson. We must bring ourselves to God and seek for Him to teach us, before we take on the responsibility of teaching others.    Ask God to be your teacher so that your teaching flows out of your own spiritual growth.
  • Ask for guidance in your lesson preparation.  Pray for insight into identifying main truths and the best way to communicate those truths.
  • Ask the Lord to prepare the hearts and minds of those who will sit under your teaching.   Pray for receptiveness and supernatural impact. Pray for life change. Ask the Lord to remove hindrances to openness of the part of the learners.
  • Ask the Lord to grant you spiritual discernment. Ask for help in recognizing how the learners respond to the lesson.  Pray ahead of your presentation for God to give you discernment to adapt the lesson based on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
  • Ask the Lord to give you a heart of love and compassion. Pray that God reveals His love for your students through you.

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