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Pep Prayers Needed - by Debbie Simmonds

Have you ever had someone give you a pep talk? A friend, a child, a parent or your spouse? A pep talk is a conversation that someone has with another person to encourage them to move forward or to face a situation with confidence. I recall in my preteens, my struggle to discover who I was and my mother giving me plenty of pep talks. Throughout her adult life she struggled with mental health issues. But she did not allow her challenges to limit her ability as a strong Christian woman, wife, and mother.

I am the youngest girl in my family and after my older sisters moved away my mother became my confidant and friend. She listened well and seemed knowledgeable about what it was like to be a teen, giving me examples of her own experience. As with most preteens I had the desire to fit in, to be accepted by my peers. I could trust Mom to steer me in the right direction.

When faced with a dilemma or a decision to make, Mom was my coach and cheerleader and after her pep talk, I felt like I could do anything but fail. You see I needed those pep talks to move me forward. Depending on the conversation, she would encourage me by saying, “You can do anything you put your mind to.” “Why not pray about it?” “They talked about Jesus, didn’t they?” “Put your trust in God.” “Have Faith!” “God will see you through.” And I did. Eventually I accepted the Lord Jesus, whom my mother spoke of so fondly.

In the New Testament the apostle Paul is known for encouraging the Church along with individual followers of Christ with his letters and prayers... I like to call Paul’s prayers, “pep prayers.” In other words, prayers of encouragement for the Church of Jesus Christ. Paul's letters and pep prayers have reminders of God’s agape love and grace, our eternal destination, and the hope of Jesus’s inevitable return. Paul was in prison when he wrote these prayers and yet he did not let his circumstances effect the work which God placed on his heart to do. God’s mission for the Church had to be carried out if it was going to grow. And it has.

The early Church needed Paul’s pep prayers to move them forward. Today we still need them to move the Church forward. Paul encouraged Timothy, a young pastor, and others to carry on the work that God has set out for them amid their circumstances. Paul urges us to press forward, to finish the race and to not grow weary (Phil 2:14, 2nd Tim. 4:7, Gal. 6:9). Paul’s pep prayers are found throughout his letters in the New Testament. They serve as encouragements for believers along with those seeking meaning today.

If Paul could encourage others, amid his own persecution with such joy and faith, then today Christians everywhere can do the same. In this present day, amid Covid 19, Paul's prayers are needed, and they still encourage the lost and the scattered Church. Whether it is done from six feet away, over the phone or via a social media platform, pep prayers are essential for today. Will you pray a pep prayer with and for someone?

I leave us with this powerful pep prayer by the apostle Paul found in Ephesians 3:16-19. May this prayer encourage us to move forward in such a time as this. "I pray that according to the wealth of his glory [the Father] may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”(NET)

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