The best way to pray
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; Colossians 1:9
Have you ever had it on your heart to pray for someone and you didn’t quite know what to pray? Maybe it was for a sick friend or loved one? Maybe for someone who had a need financially or emotionally? Maybe it was for your children and you could see what you thought would make things better for them so that’s what you prayed? Like . . .Lord, give them the perfect job, the perfect spouse or help them find the best home or where to go to school? We all have specific needs for today, but what’s the best way to pray?
In today’s verse Paul prays for the Colossian Christians. However, he doesn’t pray for their specific needs. He doesn’t pray: LORD, please don’t let them be persecuted or make sure they have all they need. Instead he thanks God for them and then he prays for their spiritual needs. He prays that God would fill them up with knowing His will with wisdom and spiritual understanding. He prays that they would be fully pleasing to God and fruitful in their good works. Then he asks that they would increase in the knowledge of God and be strengthened with all might by God’s glorious power. He thanks God that He has qualified them to take part of the inheritance of the saints. Lastly, he prays for them to be delivered from the power of darkness (protection) and that God would move them into the kingdom of His love.
What a great prayer! What if we began to pray these things over our loved ones instead of the specific need they have for today. When God answers the prayer of spiritual blessings on those we are praying for, they will be catapulted through their current day-to-day struggle. They will know how to handle the things that come day to day because they are filled up with knowing God’s will with wisdom and spiritual understanding. Now they are focused on being fruitful in every good work and increasing in knowing God personally each day. They are strengthened with His might and power and qualified to take part in the inheritance of God, their Heavenly Father. I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds much better than “help them find the perfect job”
This is a great revelation for me as I’ve spent many years praying over my family and those I love with specific needs that I could see would make a difference in their lives. However, now I have changed my view of these things to pray for their spiritual needs first of all. Here’s the thing when the spiritual needs are met, the physical needs will follow. In fact, this is how to be like a tree planted by the water that doesn’t even notice when the drought comes. (Jeremiah 17:8)
Today I want to encourage you to begin to pray these things over your family and loved ones. This prayer in Colossians is a good place to start but there are also some other effective prayers we discussed earlier in Ephesians chapter 1 and 3. Not only will this way of praying bring spiritual results to those you are praying for, it will produce peace of mind as you grow in the knowledge of Him. Here is an example of what your prayer could sound like:
Heavenly Father, I want to thank You today that my spouse, family, friends, neighbors and co-workers are filled up with the knowing Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Thank You that they walk worthy of You by fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work, increasing and growing by getting to know You in a deeper way each day. I thank You that they are strengthened with all might by Your glorious power to be joyfully patient and longsuffering. Thank You Father, for qualifying all of us to have a part of Your inheritance that You have given all the saints and for delivering us from the power of darkness. Thank You for propelling us into the kingdom of Your Son, Jesus, by His great love and in Whom we have our redemption through His blood that erases all our sins.
Today’s scripture reading: Colossians 1:9-18