We know the truth – change is God’s work, not ours. We know the need – unless the Lord builds the house, the labourers labour in vain. But, if we’re honest, many of us also know the reality – it’s so easy to counsel and encourage others in ways that are either prayer-less or rely on arrow-prayers that focus on some immediate need. It’s so easy to function as if prayer isn’t the essential, beautiful and effective privilege that our heads know it to be.
So why not take a moment to pray for someone you are supporting right now – and pray for them in some, or all, of these ways (all of which flow from Colossians 3:15-17).
Peace: Pray that they would revel in the peace of God that has been lavished on them through Christ and that they would live life in the light of that peace: forgiven, equipped, full of hope.
Thankfulness: Pray that, even in the toughest of times, they would have hearts of thankfulness – seeing clearly the generous, comforting provision of the Lord in their need.
Community: Pray that they would be encouraged and challenged by being in a Christ-centred community, one where they can be spurred (and spur others) on to love and good works.
Scripture: Pray that they would engage with words of life and be transformed by them.
Praise: Pray that they would worship God in Spirit and in truth.
Speech: Pray that their words (spoken to themselves and to others) will be ever more conformed to the likeness of Christ.
Action: Pray that they would live differently, in ways that increasingly honour Jesus.
And while you’re about it … you might like to pray those things for yourself, too!
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17