I have seen hundreds of church prayer lists over the years. One thing stands out: the vast majority of the Prayer Requests concern the OUTER MAN (the physical body). Beyond question, Scripture addresses the physical concerns. For example, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1).
With that said, there is a larger emphasis in the Bible on the INNER MAN. Paul prayed, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the INNER MAN” (Eph. 3:16). The OUTER MAN is not unimportant, but the INNER MAN is even more vital.
Paul was concerned about the character of the Ephesian Christians; their soul, their heart and mind—their INNER MAN. His prayer was that they would experience the LOVE of Christ and be FILLED with all the fullness of God (vs. 17-19).
So why the apparent reluctance to share personal, INNER MAN prayer requests? When we value the state of our souls as much as we do our bodies, our Prayer Lists will reflect this. A spiritual revival would not eliminate OUTER MAN concerns, but the INNER MAN requests would soon dwarf them.
Pride causes a person to CONCEAL and COVER UP. Humility empowers men and women to CONFESS and OPEN UP. So let’s enlist intercessors for our own INNER MAN needs. Get with people who care for you and GET REAL—be honest. Then pray for others like Paul prayed for the Ephesians—”to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the INNER MAN”.
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