Who do you pray for? I have often pondered on Paul’s prayer discipline. Given verses like the one for today, I wonder how much of his time was spent in prayer?
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. (Col 1:9)
In this verse Paul states his ceaseless prayer discipline. What an encouragement for those who received the letter to know that they had the prayer covering from such a saint. Notice the prayer is specific too, he states what he is praying for – the filling of knowledge of God’s will – not a bad thing to pray for! This knowledge comes from the infinite resources the Holy Spirit has access to, certainly an abundant source of knowledge.
We see an example of persistent prayer in the Bible, such as Elijah praying for rain (1 Kings 18), or Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18). However, I am reminded of the inspiring persistent prayer of George Müller, whose life shone from the example of his unshakeable faith. I would very much recommend reading about his life, it gives you what you might call a ‘faith-lift’! Today’s passage brought to mind his resolve in November 1844, to pray for the conversion of five individuals placed on his heart. He prayed every day, “whether sick or in health, on the land or on the sea…” The first individual was converted after 18 months, the second after five years, then six years later the next. In the end, he prayed for the other two for over thirty-six years. The fourth was converted just before George’s death and the last one, not long after. I’m sure all five will be eternally grateful.
I have a number of people I pray for every day, and I have seen answers to prayer. Try it for yourself!
Note also that Paul’s infectious nature to pray was caught by those faithful people around him, notice the verse says “we” not “I”. Perhaps, a call to prayer in St. John’s might cause a powerful effect, like it did when we all prayed for our precious brother Pete.
We thank you for inviting us to be involved in your sovereign work. We ask you to place on our hearts those you entrust us to pray for. We pray in faith for souls to be saved, illnesses to be healed and that our fellowship would be filled with the knowledge of your will, through your Holy Spirit.
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Tomorrow’s Reading: Colossians 1:10a