“…because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints…For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father” (Colossians 1:4,9-12, NIV)…
From our previous studies on different passages on prayer we know that prayer is not only personal, but also communal. It also ought not to be focused on our own will, but on God’s will instead. In the letter to the Colossians you will find the verses quoted above, which teach us even more about praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus… or in other words – how to pray for one another.
The first important lesson comes from verse 4. Apostle Paul and Timothy do pray for the believers from Colossae, but not because they are best friends or have some other type of a special relationship. As a matter of fact, Paul isn’t even the founder of this church. They two pray for these believers simply because they are their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Today the case seems to be different. In a time when there is more Christians than ever before, and communications are made easier by the hour, it seems that more and more people are in need of something extra in order to pray for their fellow-believers – whether we admit this or not, it is a fact that we can easily do much better. And God’s word teaches us precisely this! Do you pray continually for believers who are not from your vicinity? If not – what is preventing you from doing so, and what can you do to overcome it?
The second lesson from the passage can be summarized in this phrase: have not stopped. In previous devotionals we have seen that continuous prayer is important, but how much more important it is to pray so when it is about brothers and sisters, most of whom live lives far harder than yours and mine! Next time when you pray – remember the Christians who do not have the luxury of worshipping in public because they will be killed if they do so. Or think of the ones who daily face death – their children’s or relatives’ due to malnutrition. Do not forget also your brothers and sisters who are expelled from their families because they have chosen to be part of God’s family, the same you are a part of. Begin to regularly pray for these people, who although far in distance are your closest ones in what matters most – faith.
The next important issue which this passage addresses is the one of “How do I pray for these people that I don’t know?” The easiest to do is to simply follow Paul’s prayer for them. Pray that the Christians will know God’s will and be filled with His wisdom and spiritual understanding. And just as me and you, all other believers need these things in order to live a life worthy of God’s calling. Moreover, knowing God’s will and having spiritual understanding is far more important than any physical healing or material provision.
For the persecuted ones – pray that God’s Holy Spirit will fill them with boldness and courage for sharing their faith. Pray also for God’s protection.
For the Christians who live in misery and poverty and are threatened by all kinds of diseases daily – pray that God will send to them fellow-believers who have the necessary resources to help them and that the latter will serve persistently and in love. Pray also for God’s supernatural provisions – for He is a great and mighty God who doesn’t know what “impossible” means. Pray for protection from natural disasters as well.
For the believers who are young in their faith – pray that God will send helpers who will encourage them and up build them, and will also embrace them with love.
Pray that God will reveal to you through His Holy Spirit for whom and how to pray daily. Pray for His help so that your prayers may be persistent.
Should you need help – send us a message and we will do our best to answer your questions and send you some guidelines for finding more information on the topic in the Bible.