Prayer is a powerful tool that God has given to you. It provides you with an opportunity to directly interact with Him. Your prayer time can have many components to it. But for the purpose of this post, I will be looking at six things you can pray for others.
Allow me to share how I came about this material. I have the opportunity to share a message at a local church that is currently without a Lead Pastor. This led me to look for scriptures that would help them throughout this process. I specifically wanted to find a scripture they could use while they were praying for their next Lead Pastor. And as a bonus, I wanted this to be something they could pray for themselves and the community in which they minister. Sounds like a tough challenge, huh?!
Well, think I found the perfect scripture. Paul wrote a letter to the church in Colosse and it is very applicable today. The passage I will be using is found in the first chapter ninth verse through the twelfth verse in the book of Colossians. (Colossians 1:9-12) Here it is…
9 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,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Let’s unpack these 6 things to pray for others!
1. God’s Will – God has a plan for you and everyone else. We just don’t always listen to Him. We have a natural tendency to want God to work within our will for our lives instead of us working within His Will. When you pray for others, ask that they will take the time to seek and listen to God as He wants to guide their lives. Ask that God’s Word will be more alive and clear. And ask that they will allow the Spirit to guide and direct their path.
2. Gain Spiritual Wisdom – In the original text, this portion of the verse is translated to mean “the ability to apply first principles to any given situation which may arise in life.” Paul is, in essence, praying that the people from Colosse may understand the great truths of Christianity, and they may be able to apply these truths to the tasks and decisions which meet them in everyday life. Wow, what a great prayer for those who you pray for! Pray that they may apply what they learn form God to their everyday life choices.
3. Please and Honor God – Having the knowledge of how to live according to God’s Will does you know good if you don’t put it into practice. Pray that they will take this new found knowledge and actually allow it to impact how they live their lives. As James tells you in verse 1:22, Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. By following God’s plan for their lives, they will please and honor Him. Pray that they will put into practice all they are learning, thus pleasing God and giving Him honor.
4. Grow in Knowledge of God – Here Paul is talking about Christ followers taking on the very nature of God. We are no longer just living out principles we are learning, but these principles are becoming the very nature of who we are. We are truly becoming more Christ like. When you pray for others, ask that this knowledge is not just head knowledge, but that it is heart knowledge as well. Pray that it will change them from the inside out causing them to be less about themselves and more about Christ.
5. Power for endurance and patience – Whew, that is a lot! But here is the awesome part, God, through His Spirit, empowers us to do all of this. He will give us the strength to endure difficult times and to be patient to wait on His timing. What an incredible blessing! He will give us what we need to live as He wants us to live. He will not leave us nor forsake us. So when you pray for others, pray that God will give them the strength to be patient and endure as His plan is working in their lives.
6. Stay full of Christ’s joy and give thanks – The world has a way for stealing your joy and leading you to be unthankful. Don’t let that happen! God has blessed you in so many ways that you should be careful not to allow your circumstances to rob you of His joy and the thankfulness you should express to Him. So to close out this prayer for others, pray that they don’t loose their joy and that they are quick to express thankfulness to their Heavenly Father.
I hope you find these six things beneficial as you continue to pray for those around you!