“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (Colossians 4:2-4).
A half dozen times in his epistles, Paul asked believers to pray for him. What is interesting to me, however, is what Paul asked them to pray for. There were no outward, tangible, personal needs mentioned. Instead, every request was that a spiritual dynamic or quality would manifest itself in his life.
Paul wanted to be effective for the kingdom, even while he was in prison. If ever someone had a right to think I need help right now. Get me out of this. It was Paul. But instead, he wanted prayer that he would still have the ability to focus on kingdom work—while in prison. Pray for an opening to proclaim Christ, he requested. Pray for clarity. Interesting prayer, since Paul probably only saw guards and his jailers for short periods of time. He wanted to make the most of every opportunity.
Do we think to ask for prayer for those things? I need to do that more. Pray that I would be conscious of reaching out to people around me. I don’t naturally think to do it. I need supernatural help! We all do.
Lord Jesus, I don’t instinctively reach out to people around me. I need Your enablement to do so. Holy Spirit, make me conscious of those I come in contact with who need a word of encouragement or truth. Nudge me strongly when there is someone in my day that You want me to share with. Fill me with Your heart for those around me. Then give me clarity to share something of lasting value in those quick moments I have. Lord, give me a hunger to be more devoted to prayer, which will in turn help me to keep my eyes open to Your opportunities. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
–Taken from Praying like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf (Click on the title for more information on this resource).
Praise God as the one who again has supplied you with all you have needed this week. Thank him for putting some of his resources into your care. Confess any waste or mismanagement of those resources this week. Commit yourself to sharing with God’s people who are in need (Rom. 12:13). Ask God to bring to mind the name of someone with whom he would have you share by showing hospitality (12:13).
Pray that your children and those of your friends learn principles of Christian stewardship from an early age. Ask God to make you an excellent example for them.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).