Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Work of Prayer

I was reading through Colossians this morning when an unexpected passage hit me between the eyes. The amazing thing about the following passage is that it is found in the closing section that we tend to skim rather than read because Paul is mentioning a bunch of people we don't know.

The passage I am refering to is Colossians 4:12-13. This is what Paul writes, "Epaphras, a member of your own fellowship and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you his greetings. He always prays earnestly for you, asking God to make you strong and perfect, fully confident that you are following the whole will of God. I can assure you that he prays hard for you and also for the believers in Laodicea and Hierapolis" (NLT).

Here is the question that popped into my mind after I read those two verses; "How hard do I prayer for people?"

I can prayer desperately for myself and the circumstances that I am facing, but I fear I am rather in different to the people around me. Perhaps part of the reason we lack growth and maturity in our church families is because we have not prayed for it. Maybe the reason the people in our lives struggle with broken hearts, depression, and addictions is because we are not praying for them. I don't want to make it sound that all we do is prayer, certainly we are called to get off our butts and do something, but the fact is that many of us are so focused on ourselves that we miss the pain and the struggles of others.

Part of the reason this passage hit me so hard today is because this the area of my life God has called me to work on. He has impressed upon my heart that I need to be a person of prayer, because things change because of it.

The thing about prayer is that it sounds like an easy thing to do, but it is extremely difficult. Satan and his demonic horde will do everything in their power to keep you from praying effectively. So Paul writes that Epaphras prayed hard for the Colossians, it wasn't easy, but he committed himself to praying, so he did it.

I urge you to commit yourself to being a person of prayer. We all of people in our lives who desperately need our prayers, and if we don't pray for them who will. When God lays a person on your heart, stop what you are doing and pray for them. Not not only are we inviting God to be part of the situation, but we are also doing our Christian duty of loving one another.

I think that we need recapture the reality that prayer is work, and that it is one way we can work for the Kingdom of God. It won't be the easiest thing you have ever done, but it has the potential of being one of the best.

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