We readily pray for others when they mention a specific need and ask us to pray.
- I’m having outpatient surgery next week. Would you pray that all goes well?
- My son has a job interview on Thursday. Please pray he gets the job.
- I have a big decision to make in the next few days. Will you pray for me?
Of course, we’ll pray! But have you ever noticed that, almost always, we’re asked to pray for something physical or tangible? Next time your Bible study group prays or takes prayer requests, see how many of the requests are tied to health or tangible physical needs. It’s good to pray for these things—but let’s not stop there.
Let’s also pray for individuals regarding their walk with God. Paul prayed this way for the believers in Colossae, and his prayer is something we can pray for others.
“For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience, joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light” (Col. 1:9-12).
So how do we incorporate Paul’s words into a prayer for someone else?
- Pray he would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. Pray that he would see God’s will, not just in the big decisions of life, but in every aspect of his ethics, morals, and daily life. A part of this prayer might be that he would read and discover what God’s Word says about God’s will for his life.
- Pray he would walk worthy of the Lord. Pray that, as he discovers God’s will, he would do God’s will. We walk worthy of Christ when we live according to His word.
- Pray he would live a life that pleases God. We strive to please the ones we love. Pray that his love for Christ would grow and deepen. Love is our greatest motivation for obedience, for as Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15). It should go without saying that a life of obedience pleases God!
- Pray he would produce the fruit of good works. Pray that the things he does and is involved with would be fruitful. We’re talking about fruit that makes a difference in other’s lives, fruit that points to Christ, and fruit that is not here-today-gone-tomorrow. “I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain” (15:16).
- Pray he would be strengthened in order to endure and be patient. What you have prayed thus far for another person is not a prayer for a smooth and easy life. The more we live for Christ, the more it gets others’ attention—and not always in a good way. When difficulties arise and when his faith is challenged, he’s going to need the strength of the presence of Christ. Only in Christ can any of us patiently endure the hassles, challenges, or opposition that comes at us.
- Pray he would be joyfully thankful in all things. Pray that he would be keenly aware of all he has to be thankful for. Even in the face of difficulties, he can be thankful—and joyful!
Wouldn’t you love for someone to be praying this on your behalf? Be that someone for others! Don’t just pray this for those you know are struggling. Pray this for any and all believers. Hey, even pray this for your pastor!
“The prayer of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect” (Jas. 5:16).
God can use you to make a difference in the lives of others. And that in itself is “the fruit of good works.”
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