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“Knowing Christ is the best thing that has ever happened to me, although winning the US Open was a pretty good second.”

Alison Nicholas

Be specific

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. Colossians 1:10-11

How do you pray for someone? If you are not sure, you are in good company. The disciples (Luke 11:1) asked Jesus to teach them to pray.

It is so easy to be bland in our prayers, “God bless John”. But what does that actually mean. When we are specific we tend to pray for practical things - for health, safety, an ability to cope with a difficult situation. For athletes I often pray that they would prepare well for competition and deliver what they are capable of.

How well you run, whether you get a new contract, whether you make the team are all important things but Paul’s prayers are a lot deeper. He prays for the Colossian Christians:

To be filled with the knowledge of God’s will and to grow in that knowledge;
That the Holy Spirit would give them wisdom and understanding;
That they would please the Lord in every way, especially in the way they conduct themselves;
That they would be strengthened to have great endurance and patience.

I have a friend who talks about “sticking plaster” solutions where we help a friend by showing a verse that blesses them and helps them great though a difficult day. Paul wants see the Colossians grow to maturity in their faith so that when hard times come, their godly wisdom and understanding, their knowledge of God’s will, their endurance and patience and their desire to please God – will see them through the hard times.

Who can you pray for today, as Paul would have prayed?

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