We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers. 1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV
You have a sphere of influence. It’s yours, given to you by God.
Paul had in his sphere of influence the church in Thessalonica. He took his responsibility seriously – constantly mentioning them in his prayers.
Consider your sphere of influence – spouse, family, work, church, ministry, and community. Either a large or small sphere, but it is yours and you are called to be a faithful steward of this influence.
Jesus had a small sphere of influence – twelve men. He prayed for them. To Peter He said:
Peter, my dear friend, listen to what I’m about to tell you. Satan has obtained permission to come and sift you all like wheat and test your faith. But I have prayed for you, Peter, that you would stay faithful to me no matter what comes. Luke 22:31-32
Within your sphere of influence, if you don’t pray for them, who will? Can you imagine the consequences for Christianity if Jesus had not prayed for Peter?
How do you effectively pray for your sphere of influence?
- Recognize that you have a sphere of influence. This is one of those “Duh!” moments. It’s obvious that we should pray for those we love. Understanding “influence” means recognizing “responsibility.”
To Do: Ask the Lord to show you who you are to influence. Then make a prayer list.
- Learn to discern. Very important to note: Often those in your influence can’t discern for themselves spiritual danger. Jesus knew Peter faced a challenge by the evil one and Peter didn’t. If your influence contains teenagers – duh! Those you disciple also.
To Do: As you pray your prayer list of influence, ask God to give you prophetic insight into their lives. You don’t always tell them but pray according to God’s leading.
- Pray for their influence. Your greatest prayers are to release others into the Kingdom. Whether it is a child, a c0-worker, or someone that you mentor. Paul prayed for the saints in Thessalonica, “I remember before the Father your work of faith” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
To Do: John the Baptist told the crowd, “I must decrease and Jesus must increase.” The objective of praying for others is that their sphere of influence will increase. List their influence and pray that it would exponentially increase.
I once heard a major leader in the church say, “I associate with those who can increase my influence.” I understand the sentiment. And this leader is often on television with others who do increase his influence.
I want my influence to increase, I want your influence to increase, and I must rejoice that the “Christian leader’s influence” increased.
I’ve never been able to “hang out” with others just because they could increase my influence. I’ve always wanted to disciple others so that their influence could increase beyond mine.
Considering influence, the best principle for our prayers and actions is…
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. Luke 6:38 ESV