Praying for You

David Bahn-Reflections Podcast

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:1-14

Forest Trees at Boiling Pots Falls | Near Hilo, Hawaii | March 2022

My prayer life seems to grow and recede based on the stress and challenges real and imagined before me. When it’s a troubling time, I will spend the waking hours praying. Until recently I would pray the Lord’s Prayer. Again and again I would pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” I would also take note of the places where my mind would wander away from the specific petitions of that beautiful and deeply-meaningful prayer. I wonder what is going on in my life in relation to that petition, I would think. 

More recently I have learned two additional prayer strategies in those sleepless moments. My friend and seminary classmate Jeff Gibbs spoke of praying the Agnus Dei, “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, have mercy on us…and grant us peace.” A beautiful prayer, seeking God’s mercy and peace.

Yet another prayer is also edifying and comforting. Naming the things for which you are specifically thankful is a richly pacifying prayer discipline. I get to think of my wife, children, grandchildren, friends, and the many blessings from God. This reminds me of God’s goodness, expressed in past blessings, and points me in faith and hope for God’s continued goodness in my life. 

Here we have other specific things for which we must also pray. 

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:9-14

Praying for other believers to know God’s will, to have wisdom and understanding, and to live a life worthy of our Lord Jesus is an important prayer. We pray these things over those who have been saved, not in order that they may be saved. Once saved, however, the temptations and challenges to our faith do not magically stop. That’s why we must also pray the we who bear the name Jesus will bear fruit, increase in our knowledge of God, and endure in our walk of faith. 

God has delivered us. We have been redeemed. Our sins have been forgiven. From that foundation of God’s grace and salvation we pray, giving thanks to the Father for those who walk with us in the light of God’s love. 

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