Monday, June 12, 2006

Praying for the Saints

“We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” Col. 1:3

This morning, as I made my way to work, I was thinking specifically about what I had read the previous night in my Bible study time. I read parts of chapter 1 of Ephesians, specifically verses 15-23, where the Apostle Paul prays for these believers.

This got me thinking today of the importance of praying for each other as believers. In several places in his letters to various congregations, Paul begins to not only pray for them, but to write out those prayers. Most of those prayers ring of a father lifting up his children in prayer. But in the book of Colossians, it is a little different.

The church in Colosse was not a church that Paul had planted. Rather, it seems that a convert to Christ, who came to the Lord through Paul’s ministry, had started this church. His name was Epaphras. He seems to have been the pastor of this church. Yet, the apostle found it necessary to write to this group of Christians, not only to encourage them in their relationship with the Lord, but to warn them of the threat of an infantile cult called Gnosticism, which seemed to claim that Christ was not divine as He Himself claimed to be. I won’t get into what Gnostics believed, but I will say that I have found it quite similar to Scientology, a cult heavily pushed by certain stars in Hollywood.

But, my focus today is that Paul prayed for them. He didn’t just write letters of instruction to the churches he ministered in and started. He got down to business in the secret place of prayer and lifted them up to God. He prayed for these Colossian believers, not as one who came and saw folks in the city saved because of his work there, but because he had a heart to practice what he preached, namely lifting up the saints of Christ in prayer (Eph. 6:18). He was driven to pray for the saints.

How much more should we? We live in a time where things seem to be going from bad to worse. Times are getting tough. Stress is mounting up. People are getting fearful of what might be coming down the road for them. If ever there was a time to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ, it is now. I thank God for those that God has praying for me. I was blessed recently to find out from my good friend Pastor Henry, a fellow blogger, which he and his church are praying for me, as well as other ministers. They are praying for me all around, for my family, and my ministry. For others out there that are praying for me, thank you. You may never know just how your prayers have affected me until you make it home to Heaven. I am blessed!

Friends, isn’t this exactly what Jesus did? He prayed not just for his disciples, but for those who believe through their message. Look, that means Jesus prayed for me and you (John 17)! So, friends, let’s follow Paul’s, and really, Jesus’ example of prayer. Lift up those fellow believers that are all around you. While you are at it, toss one up for me, too! God bless!

1 comment:

Darrell said...

I believe that one area that the enemy of our souls had landed a damaging blow to us in found in the area of prayer. Most people think that prayer is where we unload on God all our trials and offer up our "wish list" to Him. I have found the more I pray for others, the smaller my problems become.