Prayer is to disciplemaking as water is to growing plants. An absolute essential, exceedingly important ingredient in helping others grow in the Lord.
Where is the proof?
Look at Romans 1:9, Ephesians 1:15,16, Ephesians 3:14,15, Philippians 1:3,4 Colossians 1:3,9, 1 Thessalonians 1:2,3, 1 Thessalonians 3:10, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 2 Timothy 1:3. Notice how often Paul shares that he is praying for disciples. How needed was that prayer! How encouraging the recipients must have been to learn that Paul, even though not with them at the moment, was talking to the Lord regularly about their forward movement.
Look again at those verses. Notice their intensity. Paul doesn’t say merely that he is praying for believers. He tells them he prays without ceasing, on his knees, always, night and day, exceedingly. His were no casual, mumbled prayers. He knew his precious recipients were in the midst of a vicious spiritual battle so his fervent prayers were needed to pray them onto to victory.
Look again at those verses. Notice when they were written. 1 Thessalonians was written approximately 51 AD. 2 Timothy was written in 67AD shortly before he was killed. Get it? From one end of Paul’s ministry to the other intense prayer for disciples was central to his efforts.
Paul prayed for the people he was discipling. Intensely. Continuously. Are we making time daily to strenuously lift up those we are trying to nurture in the Lord?
Yes, maybe this should have been #1 or #2 in this devotional series!