Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What to Pray...When You Say You'll Pray

So lately, our church body is going through a lot.


There is nothing that we need to do MORE than to pray. These situations are overwhelming, unfathomable and downright choking. But do you wonder WHAT to pray, in such times?

By no accident I am sure, one of our fabulous pastors recently preached about some ways we can WRESTLE in prayer for one another, like our great example Epaphras in Colossians.

He had cool video of big ugly wrestlers lifting heavy rocks up onto ledges. This would be the part of the sermon my 7 year old proudly reported that he remembered from the sermon.


So, the people of Colosse were going through a lot too back then.

And fascinatingly, Epaphras did NOT pray for their trouble to be removed.


That's right.

There will always be situations that will come along and slide into the place of those that we pray for release from.

We live in a fallen world.

But you knew that.

So what did Epaphras pray for those whom he wrestled in prayer? Glad you asked!

He prayed some things that are NOT dependent upon good or bad circumstances...but rather that they would grow in many ways, no doubt as a result of the trials they were facing.

My point in this blog post is not to reiterate what wonderful Nate already preached, so please if you have time go hear the full sermon here.

If you need some quick bullet points (as we often need to cut to the chase!) here's what Nate gleaned from Colossians 1: 9-12 and I've been using as a prayer guide for others:

1) That they would be filled with God's wisdom.

2) That they would be compelled to please Christ in every way. That they would be aware of His presence with them.

3) That their faith would deepen and that they would bear fruit for Christ. Nate suggested we pray for specific fruit in their lives. But please, don't everyone pray patience for me!! (LOL)

4) That God would strengthen them with: ENDURANCE, PATIENCE, JOY and GRATITUDE, and GOD'S GRACE which is more than sufficient in spite of all our circumstances.

This is a wonderful list of ways we can pray into the character of our friends and loved ones who need us to go to God on their behalf. I love this list because it takes me out of the habit of "please bless them, Lord" to asking for specific godly qualities to be forged in their hearts and lives.

As I often tell my children, your CHARACTER is the only thing you get to take with you to heaven. By praying into our friends' and families' characters, we're investing in them for the long haul.

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