Effective Prayer for Others


Praying isn't easy, but we can use examples from the Bible to guide us.

Colossians 1:11-12

One of the disciples saw Jesus praying and made the request, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). If Christ’s close associates needed instruction, then surely we, too, must learn about prayer. Thankfully, there are many examples in Scripture for us to follow, such as the passage we looked at yesterday.

Paul’s first-century requests for the people of Colossae are not only still applicable; they’re also instructive in terms of types of petitions to make on behalf of others. For instance, Paul prayed that these people would know God (Col. 1:10). In other words, he wanted them to grow in the Lord and not stagnate in their faith. This transformation takes place by studying the Word, applying biblical principles, and heeding the consequences of obedience.

Another plea was for the Colossians to experience God’s power (v. 11). The apostle wanted them to have the Lord’s supernatural energy and the strength they’d need to carry out His will. What is impossible by man’s effort becomes possible when believers rely on God. Then the glory rightly goes to Him.

Finally, Paul asked that they would give thanks joyously (vv. 11-12). This indicates the apostle’s hope that they would exhibit the proper attitude, expressing gratefulness even during difficult situations.

In church, we often hear people asking for prayer. And many believers make a prayer list so they don’t forget to intercede for certain individuals during the week. Using Paul’s example, we can be confident that we are praying for those on our list in a manner that pleases the Lord and aligns with His will.

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