“As happens all of the time if I am open to seeing it,” Stan began, “the apostle Paul showed me something this morning that will have a continuing impact if I will just remember it.”
“What’s that about?” I asked.
“My prayers,” Stan replied. “As a general matter in my prayers I ask God for His direction, opening me to see what He has for me, help in following Him, and those sorts of things that pretty much have me as the focus.”
Continuing, he said, “At the beginning of his letter to the Colossian church, Paul points out something that I need to have as an essential part of my prayer life with God. Something that does not have me as the focus.”
“What?” I replied.
“To pray for fellow believers. To uphold them in prayer for specific needs and requests and, just as a general matter, to ask God to strengthen them in their relationship with Him.”
“Too often,” he continued, “I just pray for myself. Nothing wrong with presenting my needs to God, but there are a lot of fellow believers who I need to bring before the throne in prayer.”
“When God, through His Holy Spirit, brings to my mind specific individuals and specific needs, I am to pray for them. However, beyond that, there is a world of believers I most likely will never know on this side of eternity. I am to lift them in prayer as well.”
“God knows who they are, but He wants me to bring them before Him.”
“Why,” I asked, “would God want you to prayer for people you do not know and probably will never meet on this side of eternity?”
“There are several reasons,” Stan replied, “but, to me, the main one is so I will know what is on God’s heart about these people. If I am open to knowing God’s heart about them, the Holy Spirit may very well motivate me to do more than just pray for them.”
We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you. Colossians 1:3.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you allow me to come before you in prayer. I confess that too often my prayers are just about me. Please forgive me for that selfishness. Please lead me in being open to praying for those you bring to my mind. As well, please remind me to always pray for fellow believers, whether or not I know them personally. You want me to bring those people before you in prayer. Please lead me and help me to follow whatever you may have for me in connection with them. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.