Like most churches, our prayer request list each week is filled primarily with physical concerns. While there is certainly nothing wrong with praying for physical needs, I hope that in our efforts to ALWAYS pray for brothers and sisters in Christ, we would concentrate on spiritual matters as much as physical matters.
Continuing in my year-long Immersion Into Colossians, I want to suggest eight areas for which we should pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ as found in Colossians 1:9-11:
9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy
Complete knowledge of God’s will. By praying this, we are asking God to help others stay immersed in His Word and in prayer themselves. I want ALL of my brothers and sisters in Christ to be firmly in the middle of God’s Will ALWAYS.
Spiritual wisdom. Again, my desire is for ALL believers to truly know God, not just know about Him. Spiritual wisdom comes from studying God’s Word. In the Restoration Movement, we are known to say that we want to be a “people of the Book.” May our lives reflect devotion to God’s Word and the understanding that comes from digging deep daily.
Understanding. I pray that as we study God’s Word, we will seek trustworthy, reliable sources to help us place what we are studying in the proper context. My desire is that we understand what God has to say, not merely mouth what a human thinks and interprets. I highly recommend sources from College Press Publishing in this regard. Their Bible Commentary series is excellent!
Growth. Praying for each other to grow in their walk with Christ should be a “duh,” but how often do we pray those prayers for each other? May we truly desire for our brothers and sisters in Christ to grow as they learn to know God better each day.
Strengthened with all God’s glorious power. Now THERE’S a prayer I hope you will pray for me: to be daily strengthened by all of God’s glorious power. The same Power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us who belong to Christ. I need to remember that and so do you.
Endurance. Everyone I know has their struggles. Physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. We all need a little extra dose of endurance just to get through the day. Praying for endurance for our brothers and sisters is truly an act of love.
Patience. I jokingly tell people that I prayed for patience and God gave us three kids. I realize that praying for patience and endurance for people means that God will place them in positions to learn and put into practice opportunities for patience and endurance.
Joy. How could I almost forget to address this one? May we pray that our brothers and sisters in Christ are ALWAYS filled with joy, no matter the circumstances. It is that joy that sets us apart from those who have no hope. Jesus is our joy, and when we are in Christ we should always be filled with joy!
So, next time somebody asks you to pray for them, you know where to start. I am asking you to pray for me in these eight specific areas any time you take the notion to pray for me.