October 15 Changing People Through Prayer

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:3–12

Key Verse: Colossians 1:3

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.

Paul had a tender longing for the churches he helped to establish because he was physically separated from them by time and sheer distance. Yet he could pray for them, lifting their needs and desires to the Lord for fulfillment. You can do the same thing for loved ones, and in the process of working on their behalf God also moves in your life.

Paul’s effective prayer for the Colossian believers was characterized by three life-transforming qualities.

First, it was continuous. He said, “We have not ceased to pray for you” (Col. 1:9 nasb). As often as they came to his mind and he was stirred by love, he asked God to fill them with wisdom and a knowledge of His will.

Second, his prayer was God centered. He must have known of many particular needs, perhaps for food or clothing or protection from government interference. But Paul did not list them in detail; instead, he focused on who the Lord is and what He can do, which includes a very individual concern.

Third, in the area of God’s ability, Paul was very specific. He asked God to help them walk in a manner worthy of Christ, to hold them in obedience, to give them discernment in decisions. Those spiritual benefits apply to any situation.

Heavenly Father, make me faithful in praying for others with whom You have entrusted me spiritually. Keep them walking worthy of You. Give them discernment in their decisions, and make them obedient in their response to Your commands.[1]

 

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 302). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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