3 Ways to Pray for People Spiritually
is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast
The prayers of Paul’s prisoner letters are very unique. For one he prayed for others and not for himself. Most if not all of his requests in his prayers centered on spiritual blessings, not on material or physical matters. Of course, we're not saying it’s wrong to pray for such needs but we are saying spiritual needs are vastly more important. In today’s show, we want to focus on 3 requests Paul made for the church of Colossians. We want to highlight the importance of seeing problems that may arise in others and how to pray for them according to Paul’s example we find in Colossians 1:9-12.
Paul is addressing false teachers in Colossians. He is recognizing that it is an attack of Satan to deceive the believers there. He realizes that the false teachers are using the same language as he would use to try and persuade them to believe what they are teaching. So Paul took these matters to prayer.
1. First thing Paul Prayed for was Spiritual Intelligence
• Paul is letting the Colossian church know that in his prayer they do not need a new spiritual experience; you only need to grow in the experience you already have.
• Every believer needs to know the will of God. The Greek word Paul uses here for knowledge carries the meaning of full knowledge. In essence, he is saying, we will always be learning about His full will for our lives.
• In Acts 22:14 it says that God wants us to know His Will and in Eph 5:17 he wants us to understand his will. In John 15:13-15 He says we are his friends and we can know what he is doing and why he is doing it.
• We understand the will of God by the word of God.
• Spiritual intelligence is the beginning of a successful, fruitful Christian life.
• Great men of God such as Charles Spurgeon, G Campbell Morgan, and Harry Ironside never had the privilege of formal Bible training. But they were devoted students of the Word of God through hours of study, meditation, and prayer.
2. Paul Prayed for was Practical Obedience
Colossians 1:10 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;
What we see here is Paul praying that the believers would have not just head knowledge but true spiritual wisdom that affects their daily life. In essence, Spiritual and practical intelligence must go together, same with Knowledge and obedience must go together.
Two keywords that Paul uses here, “walk and work”. The sequence is important, first wisdom, then walk, then work. I cannot work for God unless I am walking with Him, but I cannot walk with Him if I am ignorant of His will.
• Acts 6:4 Spend time daily in word and prayer:
• Eph 4:1 We should walk worthy of our calling:
• Phil 1:27 We walk worthy of the Gospel:
• 1 Thess 2:12 we walk worthy of God: In short, we should walk to please God
• 1 Thess 4:1 What does this mean?
Phil 2: 12-13 says “It is not we who work for God; it is God who works in us and through us to produce the fruit of His grace.” Christian Service is the result of Christian devotion. The work that we do is the outflow of the life that we live. It is by abiding in Christ that we can produce fruit.
3. Paul prayed for Moral Excellence
Colossians 1:11-12 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks[a] to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
Paul is saying we do not achieve moral excellence because of anything we have done but what He is doing through us. Knowledge, conduct, service, and our moral character all happen when we position our lives in God’s presence.
The Greek word Paul uses for power is “Dunamis” which is where we get our word Dynamite. This means His inherent power; He gives to us because of Jesus. Spiritual Growth and maturity can come only as we yield to God's power as we allow Him to work in us.
The next word is patience: That word means endurance when circumstances are difficult. Patience is an important characteristic of the maturing Christian life. If we do not learn patience, we are not likely to learn anything else.
Patience is not complacency, Patience is endurance in action.
Last significant word we see here is endurance or longsuffering: The word means self-restraint. Patience and long suffering go together if we are growing spiritually.