“Praying for you, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all the wisdom and understanding which the Spirit gives; so that you may live lives worthy of the Lord and entirely pleasing to him, being fruitful in every good work and multiplying in the full knowledge of God. We pray that you will be continually strengthened with all the power that comes from his glorious might; so that you will be able to persevere and be patient in any situation, joyfully giving thanks to the Father for having made you fit to share in the inheritance of his people in the light” (Colossians 1:9-12).
Lately, the Spirit has been guiding me to read all of Sha’u’ls prayers in Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians. The depth of his prayers challenge my own prayer life. When I read how Sha’ul prayed for the believers in each of these cities, I am convicted by the shallowness of my prayer life.
Do I pray for the knowledge of God’s will for the believers around me? Do I pray that they will be pleasing and fruitful in the fullness of knowing God? Do I pray for strength, patience, and perseverance in whatever situation they may be in? Do I pray that they will be fit to share in the inheritance of people in the light?
So often my prayers are about my own personal problems rather than focusing on the bigger picture and the needs in the Body of Messiah. Though my issues are important to God, and the salvation of people I love are important to me, many unanswered prayers in the Body are caused by focusing only on personal issues rather than being prayerful, thankful, and grateful.
“I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Messiah, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I also pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his imcomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:16-19).
Is this how I pray for those who struggle with knowing the fullness of Yeshua through the Scriptures? Do I pray for those who don’t want the complete message of ‘obeying the gospel’ to be given wisdom and revelation? For those who walk in hopelessness and fear, do I pray for their eyes of their hearts to be enlightened? There is a rich inheritance for those who believe in Yeshua and the Spirit’s power to overcome all things through wisdom and revelation. Do I contend for the holy ones of God to be overcomers?
“This is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Messiah, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Messiah Yeshua – to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1 9-11).
Do I pray that a brother or sister’s love for God may abound more and more with knowledge and deeper insight into the Word of Truth? Do I pray for them to mature as a believer and have discernment between what is good and evil and what is righteous? Do I pray that they are filled with the fruit of righteousness to the glory and praise of God?
When I read these prayers, I realize how I allow the little battles in my life to weigh me down and focus on the failures rather than on the strength and power given to me through the Spirit. Sha’ul was in prison, beaten, starved, abused and everything in between, but he never focused his prayers on his circumstances. He focused on encouraging the Body of Messiah so she would be prepared as a pure and spotless Bride for her King.
“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Messiah, Yeshua” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).
Do I thank God for all of those people who have discipled and encouraged me, while all the time suffering persecutions and judgments for the testimony they had? Do I mention in my prayers those who have faith works in spite of difficult circumstances? What about how they labor in love and endure hardships because of their hope in Word? Do I pray for endurance so that they do not weary of living out God’s call on their lives?
“With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Yeshua may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord, Messiah Yeshua” (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12).
Are my prayers constant? Do I desire that God fulfill every good purpose in the lives of my family and friends who are called by God into His Kingdom? Do I sincerely desire that the name of Yeshua be glorified in them as they are in Him?
Yes, my prayer life is too shallow. It needs to change.
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