Father, as I worship You, and speak to You in prayer, it is most often to give thanks with praise and to intercede for myself and those close to me.
But today in scripture, You urge me to pray, intercede and give thanks for all people.
What a huge task! It broadens my focus and gives me a small sense of Your job: to care for and love every single person on the planet! For they are each Your creation, and dear to Your heart.
As I begin, it helps me to think of categories of people. So I pray first for all children. Would You provide for their needs: physically, emotionally and spiritually. Some are very well off, born to parents who love and value them and have the means to care for them. Do not let them be misled to think they have all they need, when what they need most is You.
Other children are born into poverty, neglect, even abuse. Father, protect them and let them feel especially close to You. Reveal Yourself to them to encourage, empower and save them. Teach them all to hear and understand Your voice and obey it, whatever their circumstances. Bring a godly advocate into their lives who will stand up and speak for these without a voice.
Father, give every mother a heart for her child. Guide them to love and care for their children; to protect them and pray for them; and teach them about You. Give them the courage to correct them in love.
Lord, I lift up every man who is a father. Help them to see the position of accountability they are in in regards to their family. Show them how to provide for and love their children with a father’s love. Do not let them harm or exasperate their children. Impress upon them to set a godly example.
For men and women everywhere, whether married or single, Lord, bring them to a saving knowledge of who You are. Cause them to hunger and thirst for the truth, whatever their current state or religion. Place godly counselors and mentors in each life, who can lead them to You and encourage them in becoming believers.
Help them stand strong in the face of temptation, fear and doubt; recognizing the lies and deceit of the evil one, and turning from it. Give them discernment and guidance for decisions they face.
Father, protect married couples in the face of the temptations of infidelity and other things that would seek to separate them: money problems, anger, greed, selfishness, violence.
Forces in this world seek to destroy marriage and undermine the system of family that You set up. Father, overturn those forces. Likewise, protect singles from the temptations of lust, loneliness, and the desires that would turn them to idolatry. Show them how to live with godly values.
Father, for those leaders of anything, and people in positions of authority over families, communities, churches, businesses, nations; bring them to a saving knowledge of You. Give them clarity in hearing Your voice in their personal and professional lives. Give them the courage to follow wherever You would lead them.
Show them that with their position of authority comes responsibility and accountability. If they are persecuting believers, stop them. Open their eyes and change their hearts to know and follow You. Place godly role models, mentors, counselors and accountability figures in their lives. Give them godly wisdom to overcome obstacles, difficulties and problems to bring unity and peace to their respective arenas of authority.
Lord, as I pray, I picture elected Washington officials, African children, Muslim women. All need Your touch on their lives. Every one is someone special to You. Every one is someone You died to save.
Let each person in each one of these categories know how very much You love them. And that You have a good plan and purpose for their lives. Amen
I Timothy 2:1-6