Relax and clear your head. Listen for the voice of God. What is God saying to you today?
Colossians 1:1-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
To the saints and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ in Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
I’m Praying For You
“I’m praying for you.” How many times have we heard these words, or even better, shared these words? In the hospital, at the funeral home, in Sunday school, maybe even in your own home (maybe). Those words of endearment that ultimately say, “I have no words that can ease your pain or give you comfort, so I will go to the one place that I have come to count on – God.” It seems they have become some of the most important words for people of faith in the midst of crisis. “I’m praying for you.”
But it isn’t always a crisis. Sometimes its when that first baby joins the family or when a group of teens are headed out on a mission trip. We say it when someone is moving to new town or to a couple who have become husband and wife. There are many reasons we use these words.
Paul sends them, in these opening verses of Colossians, to a group of believers who are continuing their faith journey that had been started by Epaphras. I feel certain, like many churches, they were beginning to understand that living a life of faith is fraught with challenges and they needed a reminder that they weren’t alone. And you can tell, that for Paul and Timothy, theirs’s was a prayer from the heart.
And that’s the concern I have when we say those four little words — “I’m praying for you.” Are we just being kind, or do we mean it? I don’t mean are we dropping to our knees at that very moment and speaking with all eyes closed and heads bowed. I mean, is our heart reaching out to the source of all life, in true concern and compassion, and lifting one another up? If so, awesome. If not, may we be careful to choose our words carefully, for prayer is much more than words. Prayer is at the very core of our relationship with God.
God, we come to you for you are the giver of all life, you desire to know us and be in relationship with us. Help our hearts to be in constant awareness of your presence as we lift others up in prayer. May our prayers be more than just words, but true compassion for all. Amen.
Go with God!