Pray for One Another

we have not ceased to pray for you…

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

Continuing with Paul’s Prayers…

As we pray for one another, not just those we know personally, but for Christians spread throughout the world, let us learn from Paul’s examples

Persistence we have not ceased to pray for you…

Thankfulness We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…

and the specifics of his requests which help us understand that it’s through God’s power and strength that lives are changed.

Colossians 1:3-5a, 9-14

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. 

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that

  • you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
  • so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
  • fully pleasing to Him:
  • bearing fruit in every good work and
  • increasing in the knowledge of God;
  • being strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might,
  • for all endurance and patience with joy;

giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Notice the similarities of Paul’s requests and his continued reliance on God to work in the life of believers in this Prayer from Ephesians:

Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you

  • to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being,
  • so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—
  • that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,
  • that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.

For we do not know what to pray for as we ought

We Pray for You

To this end also we pray for you always…

Continuing with the prayers of Paul for his fellow believers:

In 2 Thessalonians Paul breaks up his letter with several prayers. Notice in the prayers, the reliance on God to work in the believer. Paul is continually remembering those who have faith, praying for them, knowing it’s God’s work in them, and in the world, that has the power to transform and change lives.

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12

To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!

Prayer

Thoughts on Prayer

Sometimes I hear people say, or I think myself, “all I can do is pray” as if prayer isn’t really doing much. But in reality prayer is one of the most important things we can do.

In 1Timothy we are encouraged to pray for all people and for our leaders in order that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (see 1 Timothy 2:1-6)

Ephesians teaches us that our battles are not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. (see Ephesians 6:10-20)

Our battles are fought in a realm we don’t really understand. The idea that there really is good and evil, that there really is an ‘evil one’ (John 17:15, 1Peter 5:8, the Lord’s Prayer) that there really is a battle going on in the heavenly places is something we don’t always grasp in our views of reality.

Remembering you in my prayers…

Mountain Creek image for Thoughts on PrayerIn light of all of that, over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing some prayers from the New Testament and asking that we, like Paul did, pray for one another.

In Ephesians 1 Paul shares his prayer. As you read through the prayer pay attention to his prayer requests and to how he incorporates encouragement to those he’s praying for and praise and adoration for God.

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you

  • the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him,
  • having the eyes of your hearts enlightened,
  • that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you,
  • what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and
  • what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe,

according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:15-23 ESV)

The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. (James 5:16b ESV)