Prayer — Such a mysterious habit for the believer in Jesus. Maybe you don’t struggle with the discipline of prayer, but I do. I often treat prayer as a last resort, when I’ve run out of humanly-produced options, when I’m helpless and can’t solve my own problems. It’s like I have God on speed dial and His only number is 9-1-1. What a poor view of prayer!
And how often — when I do pray — are my prayers for me and mine? What about others? I’m slowly learning that God expects and invites me to intercede for others, to put their needs ahead of my own, to bring them before the throne of God and to earnestly pray for them.
I’ve recently been challenged by Colossians 1 and Paul’s prayer for those believers. Here’s what we read:
Here’s part 1 of my outline of this challenging text:
How to Pray for Other Believers (Col. 1:9-14)
I. The Commitment to Pray for Others (v. 9)
Paul makes it clear that he began praying for these Colossian believers from the day he heard about them. And he doesn’t describe his intercession for them as something he started to do, but as something he would not stop doing. He emphasizes His continual asking God to fill them with the knowledge of His will. There was a beginning point to Paul’s praying for these believers — but no end point. No indication that he would cease praying for them and move on to the needs of other believers. That’s commitment!
In our next post on this topic we will notice Paul’s primary desire for these believers in verses 9-10. But for today may I ask you (as I ask myself), for whom are you continually praying? Would you say you are committed to continually lifting them up before the Father?