I LOVE TO PRAY!
I pray about anybody and everything. At this point on my journey, I choose to pray at any time and in every situation. There is not an opportunity or challenge or blessing or victory that I have not committed to God in prayer. Prayer is one of those disciplines of my walk with God in which I must actively engage. I take seriously the verse that says to "Pray without ceasing." I do believe that "men and women ought to always pray." Now, I will admit that I do pray a lot about myself but I also pray a lot for other people. I am grateful for this way to communicate with God, to share and to listen. I gain so much clarity through prayer and even when I have said "Amen" but I am still not sure of what to do next, I tend to feel a sense of peace because I know that God knows all about it and God is on top of it!
I recently read the opening of Colossians 1 and as is customary of Paul, he opens with a special greeting and a prayer. He tells the community exactly what he has been and continues to pray for them. He is interceding to God on their behalf. He reminds us that prayer is NOT reserved for personal situations but our prayers must be open enough to include others. Paul exemplifies for us that PRAYER IS A BRIDGE. And I know that YOU may be wondering what I mean by that so let me explain. PRAYER is communication with God. A bridge is a structure spanning and providing passage over a river, chasm, road, or the like. A bridge is a connecting, transitional, or intermediate route or phase between two adjacent elements, activities, conditions, or the like. PRAYER IS A BRIDGE that helps us to cross over, make connections, get through transitions, and experience transformation. PRAYER IS A BRIDGE that allows us to stand in the gap for others needs, dreams, desires, pain, and hope. PRAYER IS A BRIDGE.
I appreciate Paul's example of praying for others in his letters but he was not the first person to do so. Intercessory prayers are also recorded in the History, Wisdom, and Prophetic books of the Old Testament as well as in the Gospels and Letters of the New Testament. People like Moses and Jesus prayed for others and so should we. One of my favorite prayers to read is recorded in John 17 where Jesus prays for the disciples in the generations to come. It is a beautiful prayer that encourages me every time I read it. And maybe we will walk through that one at some point, but I want to begin this series with the prayer in Colossians 1.
Paul's Opening Prayer:
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you.
In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant,[c] who is a faithful minister of Christ on our[d] behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[e] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[f] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
PRAYER IS A BRIDGE.
When is the last time YOU prayed for someone else?
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!
Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!
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