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:
We’ve noticed 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)
We’ve seen that Paul’s praying for these Colossians is not described as something he started to do, but as something he would not stop doing. And we asked, for whom are you continually praying?
Let’s continue our study by looking at —
II. The Primary Purpose in Praying for Others (vv. 9-10)
Paul writes: “We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives . . .”
Our purpose in praying for others (at least in this text) is to ask God to fill them with the knowledge of God’s will. And that will is not discovered by human ingenuity, but “through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” The divine third member of the Trinity is intimately involved in helping those for whom we pray to know and do God’s will.
How easy it is to spend our praying moments on issues like money and jobs and food and the incidentals in life, rather than on the macro-matters of God’s will and wisdom and Spirit-given understanding! As you pray for others today, what specifically are you asking God for?