Col 1:1-14 - How now shall I live?

A common temptation of people seeking to live their life for Jesus is focus on specific things that they think God is calling them into; its interesting to notice therefore what it is that the apostle Paul focuses on in his prayers for people. In verse 9 Paul declares that he has not stopped praying for them and his prayer is a great way for us to get a glimpse of what the apostle Paul thinks is important as people grow to maturity in Christ; so what does he pray for? First, Paul prays prayers of petition, that is, he asks God for something for them and second, he gives thanks to the Father because he has qualified them to be inheritors of the Kingdom.

Lets take a closer look at the prayerful heart of Paul for this young church. A different approach is to start where Paul finishes. Paul prays that they will have great endurance and patience as they live for Jesus so he specifically prays (1) that they would be strengthened with all power (2) that they would be productive in things that are important to God, (3) that they would live in such a way that reflects the character of God and (4) that they would be filled with the knowledge of God's will for them, as the Spirit gives knowledge to them.

As you approach this new week, how will you pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Maybe you could decide today to pray for one or two specific people who you do life with and specifically pray the type of prayer that Paul prayers for his friends. Pray that your friends would be filled with wisdom and know how to live in a way that pleases God; pray that the fruit of the Spirit that actually displays the character of God, would grow in them and that they would be productive in what they do for God, focusing on the things that please God. Finally pray that your friends would live in such a way as to demonstrate great perseverance and patience and then after you have done this, write to them or send a text and tell them how you intend to pray for them. As the week moves forward, reflect on how your prayers for them transition and let them know you are still remembering them in your prayers to God. You will be praying people into the Kingdom of God - what a fantastic thing to do this coming week.

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