Sunday, April 24, 2005

Praying Like St. Paul

A fascinating pattern emerges if you spend some time studying the prayers of St. Paul throughout the epistles. Paul often refers to the fact that he regularly prays for the people he's writing to, but there are some specific instances where Paul also tells us what he's praying about.

Paul prayed:

  • in Ephesians 1:15-23: for a Spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Him better (1:17), eyes enlightened to see the hope He calls us to (1:18) and to know His power (1:19) (I recently blogged a longer post on this passage here)
  • in Ephesians 3:14-21: that they would be strengthened by the Spirit (3:16), so that Christ would dwell in their hearts by faith (3:17), and that they would have power to grasp the immensity of God's love for them (3:18)
  • in Philippian 1:3-11: that their love would abound more and more (1:9), for discernment (1:10), so they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness (1:11)
  • in Colossians 1:3-12: that they would be filled with God's wisdom to know His will (1:10), so that good fruit would be evident in their lives (1:11), joyfully giving thanks (1:12)
  • in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-13: that God's power would cause His purposes for them to be fulfilled (1:11)
  • and in every recorded prayer (including those not listed here), Paul gives thanks for the people God has given him relationship with.
What if leaders -- church, simple/home church, whatever -- prayed these kind of prayers for the people around them? Would it make a difference?

I dare you to try praying like this for a month, and then let's talk about what changes did or did not happen.

I dare you.

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