“…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? read more
“When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1:13,14, NIV).
The apostles have recently been instructed by Jesus “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4,5, NIV). And now they have just seen him ascend into the heavens from where He is to return in all glory.
Today, this promise of God in such circumstances would often lead to division rather than Pentecost. In most cases when the leader of a church leaves for one reason or another, the congregation immediately divides into different camps instead of praying with one accord. And yet, such a prayer is by far not the only lesson one ought to learn from this passage. read more
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now…” Such is apostle Paul’s attitude towards the believers he is writing his letters to. This particular quote is from Philippians 1:3-5, NIV. Each letter of Paul from the New Testament, besides the one to the Galatians, contains in its beginning a special part in which the apostle expresses his thanksgiving to God for the brothers and sisters he is writing to. The paragraph of thanksgiving is a typical part of the personal letters in Paul’s time. Unique, however, is the way in which he decides to give thanks. While the secular letters expressed thanks to the gods for various personal issues, such as health, welfare, etc. Paul thanks to God and not for issues of his own, but for the recipients of his letter – his family in Christ. read more