When Christ admonished us to “pray that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things” it should be understood in the larger context of our responsibilities as Christians to “preach and publish the Gospel as a witness ” and “grow in grace and knowledge”. To the shepherds you can also add, “feed my sheep”.
We all have a responsibility in the areas God has assigned to us. We in the ministry are to feed the flock. Members are to pray for and support the work of getting the Gospel out. One should never underestimate the power of prayer in this regard. One thing to consider in the larger context is making sure everything we do and pray for is according to God’s will and not our own. It is nice to pray that we escape future trials and go to the place of safety for what I believe is final training and also to get the spots and wrinkles out but this should not be a means unto itself, that is, it must always be according to God’s will. I am sure Stephen was not looking forward to being stoned to death so early in his walk as a deacon in the church but history shows us it was God’s will and God gave him the strength to say what was needed at the time prior to his death.
Therefore our focus should not be to pray that our hides be spared but rather pray that God’s will be done in our lives. If our lives are spared in the future that is good — if not, that is good also. Whether we live or die at the end we all want to stand before our Lord and Savior at His return to rule the earth.