Model Prayer of the Apostle Paul – Praying for the Saints
Even a cursory study of the Apostle Paul’s statements on prayer reveals two similar categories about model prayer. First, Paul prayed continually for the saints in all the churches. What he prayed for was their spiritual growth, their wisdom and understanding, their spiritual power, and their unity in the Spirit, and for their lives to be worthy of their calling—even as he thanked God for them and their progress.
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. (Colossians 1:3-6)
Model Prayer of the Apostle Paul – Praying for His Ministry
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. (Colossians 1:9-12)
The Apostle Paul’s top prayer requests modeled for himself were for his release from confinement to preach the Word (this keeps appearing and reappearing), for his preaching to bear fruit by the power of God, for new doors to be opened for the ministry, and for boldness and courage to proclaim the gospel as God gave him opportunity. There simply is little reference in Paul’s correspondence to praying for physical or personal needs, not because those things didn’t matter but because he presumed that God knew, cared, and could be trusted to provide: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32).
Rendered with permission from the book, Navigating Your Perfect Storm, Dr. Bob Wenz (Biblica, 2010). Compliments of Dr. Bob Wenz and his ministry, Renewing Total Worship. All rights reserved in the original.
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