Friday, June 15, 2012

Praying Often And Praying Well

Praying in the Bible looks a lot different than how I pray.

Colossians 1:3  We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:9-12  So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you.

We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.  10  Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.

11  We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy,  12  always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.

Colossians 4:2-4  Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.  3  Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about His mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.  4  Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should.

The average Christ follower in America probably doesn't spend enough time in prayer and then when we finally do pray it is usually very weak or selfish. We say that prayer is important but do we really believe it? We prove how important we think it is by how often we actually pray.

The Apostle Paul told the church in Colosse that he was always praying for them. It sounds like he wants us to pray just like we breathe, we don't stop breathing for too long and it should be the same way with our praying, a breath of air here and there isn't going to get us very far in life.

I know that when I finally do slow down and pray it can look like a check list of request that are pretty lame. Do you find yourself praying for a good day or for safety or for help to get a pay raise? We usually pray for self family and a few sick people. While there isn't anything wrong with praying about all of the details of your life at the same time you will not find the types of prayers that we pray anywhere in the Bible.
Most of us probably would not pray for our friends the way that Paul told the church that he prayed for them; he prayed for them to have:

✔ Complete knowledge of God's will and that they will have spiritual wisdom and understanding
✔ Strength for endurance and patience
✔ Joy and a thankful spirit because of their inheritance

My prayer list needs to be focused more on others and also on what's really important for them. When Paul prayed for his friends there was a higher purpose and a greater good that he was wanting them to know.

I need to pray more and I need to pray better, Lord help me to be consistent in coming to you in prayer and help me to pray for bigger things.