Tom Elliff
Oklahoma City, OK

After pastoring for forty-two years, Tom Elliff served the International Mission Board, first as Senior Vice President for Spiritual Nurture and Church Relations from 2005-2009, then as President from 2011-2014. Tom served pastorates in Arkansas, Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma and as an IMB missionary in Zimbabwe. Tom also served as president of the SBC Pastor's Conference and two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Seven Prayers That Really Do Make a Difference

By on January 8, 2015

Back in 2011, when Jeannie and I moved to Richmond, Va, to assume a new role with International Mission Board, people asked how  they could pray for us. I shared with them the seven specific prayers we offer to the Lord each day. We feel these prayers, and God’s answers to them, have made a real difference in our lives. Over the years, these prayers have not changed and the beginning of each New Year is a good time to review them. You might even think about the value of making them part of your daily prayer list as well.

1. That we would live with a constant, looming awareness of the presence of the Lord, and that we are His ambassadors. Paul reminds us that, “we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor 5:20). Ambassadors should operate with a constant awareness of the one whom they represent. But that awareness also gives them a remarkable confidence as they follow his bidding.

2. That we would seek a pure heart. David, the Shepherd-King, reminds us that it is the pure-hearted who ascend to the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place (Psalm 24: 3-4). We don’t want any hooks on the walls of our heart upon which Satan can hang keys to dark closets.

3. That we would be filled with the Spirit of God. Spiritual “fulness” is more than a command (Ephesians 5:18), it is a necessity for accomplishing God’s work, God’s way. Spiritual fulness indicates more than the presence of the Lord. It indicates a constant internal pressure to release the Life of Christ.

4. That we would express both the gifts and the graces that come with the fulness of God’s Spirit. Paul writes of the gifts of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. And Isaiah writes of the graces attending the life of Christ in Isaiah 2. Both are needed if we are to enjoy all God has for us, and remain effective in His service.

5. That we would never knowingly give the Adversary some opportunity to mock our Lord. Satan constantly looks for opportunities to demean the Lord in the eyes of others. It is our desire never to be found in cooperation with his devious plans.

6. That God would protect our family, spiritually, morally, physically, and mentally. Anyone who serves the Lord is aware of the constant attacks launched by the Adversary. Sometimes the attacks are directly against us, but other times we can become distracted by the attacks launched against those we love. We seek to live under God’s authority, and under His wings of protection (Psalm 91).

7. That we would remain true to the vision God has painted on the walls of our hearts. Where there is no vision, no revelation from God, people operate without restraint (Proverbs 29:18). Without a vision as your compass, life can become an endless series of meaningless wanderings. God has painted a great vision on the walls of our hearts and we want to pursue it passionately and without deviation.

So there you have it! As God brings Jeannie and me to your mind, would you join with us in these seven specific prayers.

Thanks so much!

Rejoice evermore!

Tom Elliff

2 Tim 1:12