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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Praying Always for You

We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel . . . . For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1:3-5, 9-12).

The Apostle Paul is in prison, writing to the people in a church in Colosse. He had never met them. (See Colossians 2:1) Yet, his pastoral love is expressed through his burden and his prayers for them.

  • We give thanks for you.
  • We are praying always for you.
  • We do not cease to pray for you.
  • We desire that you might know God’s will.
  • We want you to have wisdom and spiritual understanding.
  • We want you to walk worthy of the Lord.
  • We want you to bear the fruit of good works.
  • We want you to increase in knowing God.
  • We want you to be strong spiritually with God’s power in your life.
  • We want you to have patience and endurance with joy.
  • We give thanks that you can partake with us of the inheritance of heaven.

Can you imagine praying for someone like that? Someone you don’t know, someone you never met?

These new believers no doubt needed someone praying for them and loving them, interested in their souls like the Apostle Paul and his companions. The Colossian church was going to go through persecution and hardships. They needed to understand true doctrine in order to be discerning about the popular Gnostic philosophy. Paul was in prison, yet he used his time to write encouraging letters to the churches and to minister to them through prayer.

Do we pray for our children (our own, our extended family, our church contacts) like Paul did? Do we pray specific, targeted prayers for their spiritual wellbeing, for their strength, endurance and spiritual fruit? Do we pray that they would have joy? Do we give thanks for them when we pray?

I think we can glean much from Paul’s prayers for the Colossian Christians.

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