He didn’t know them.
He had only heard about them through some recent missionary reports.
Nonetheless, Paul committed to pray for these new believers. He wrote these words to guide and encourage them in their faith in his letter to the Colossians:
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, 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, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (New International Version, Colossians 1:9-12).
What an amazing set of prayer promises for a group of people that Paul had never even met and may never would!
I couldn’t help but think that this is the same thing John and I often ask our prayer support team to do for the people we serve in southern Africa. We realize that very few of the people we serve will ever meet our missionary support team on earth. We live very, very, very far away from our homeland, our supporting churches and the majority of individuals and families who have chosen to generously share in our ministry here. We have been sent to minister, to teach, to pray, to encourage and to love in the name of Christ on their behalf.
One way to help our support team stay current with what is happening here is to report about it. We do that with email updates, Facebook posts, this blog, and John may even tweet a bit on Twitter. (For one such story, you can read here.) For over eight years we have been offered the privilege of sharing story after story and as we have asked you and others to pray.
I love how Paul prays for the Colossians. It’s a fantastic prayer for anyone on this earth…whether you know some one or not!
So I am going to turn the tables today! I know many of the people who read this blog, but more and more, strangers are stopping by to check out Instead Bless. I don’t have the luxury of being with you in person. However, I can pray for you! And I would be honored to pray for you!
So, whether I know you or not, please accept my prayer for YOU today!
My Precious and Compassionate Father,
I ask you to fill my friends with the knowledge of your will through the wisdom and understanding that the Holy Spirit gives.
I ask that you help my friends live a life that is worthy and pleasing of You wherever their life circumstances may lead them today. May their hearts be joyful and content.
Father I pray that in their work and throughout their day they are able to love, encourage, bless, and care for some one in your Name. Open their eyes and hearts to the needs in their midst.
Some days are discouraging and painful, some days we just want to start over, and some days we just want to disappear and some days just feel so lonely. If this is one of those days for my friends, then Father I pray you gift them with your strength and glorious might so that they are able to endure and find peace in You, through what is happening. Help them grow through this time.
Father, help them be patient. It’s not easy to persevere or to feel at ease in times of testing. Worries rush in and overcome us. Wash these fears away, O Lord.
Father, we give you our thanks for being here with us. You never leave us. Instead, you hem us in, behind and before with your loving, guiding and comforting hand upon us.. How grateful we are for your love and your forbearance.
Last of all, my Lord, thank you for your precious Son Jesus. Through his death and resurrection, He alone, has qualified us to share in the inheritance as your holy and loved people in the kingdom of light. This gift is not lost upon us; especially this week as we survey the wonder of the cross and prepare for Resurrection Sunday.
Thank you, Father. Thank you for my friends and my family who love us, who pray for us, and who support us. Their love, prayers and encouragement empower us to we share your Word and your Love in southern Africa. I ask you to remember them and to bless them as you have done for us.
In your Son’s glorious and wondrous Name,
Amen and Amen
Photo from Lukearredondo.com