"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." NIV
I love this example of how we should pray for others. How often do we think of our family and friends and pray for their health or their job, or for a trip they are taking. We tend to dwell on the temporal, insignificant part of life. We focus in so tightly on their immediate, perceived need that we miss praying for them something so much great -- the wisdom and power of God. What more can we pray for other believers than that they would know God more or that their eyes would be open to the hope He has called us to? And nothing on this earth can match "his incomparably great power for us who believe." I'm not saying we never pray for the needs of others. We are instructed to prayer for each other for healing. But the focus encompasses so much more when it's on Him and not on the need. Phil. 4:19 says that "he will supply all your needs...." Even in Matt. 6 Jesus prays for bread, forgiveness, and deliverance from evil. So my question is by praying the prayers we pray, are we keeping ourselves too focused on this decaying body on a dying earth and less on our Father and His purposes. I would think we'd be able to handle the tragedies, disappointments, and challenges we face if we spent more time in prayer for the latter.
- Read Matthew 6:5-15 where Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray. Break down each part of the prayer into what exactly Jesus is praying about, i.e. praise.
- Read through Jesus' prayer for Himself, the disciples and all believers in John 17.
- How do we pray for those who don't yet believe? (See John 16:5-11)
- Now take some time in prayer. Pray for others as Jesus has shown us to pray.