Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Read Colossians 1:9-14

Key Words and Phrases
** we have not ceased praying for you
** filled with the knowledge of God's will
** bear fruit in every good work
** be prepared to endure everything with patience
** joyfully give thanks to the Father

In most of his letters Paul followed the greeting with a prayer of thanksgiving for the church to which he was writing. As illustrated in Colossians, the prayers were not generic, but were specific to the context and issues of the church.

Here Paul begins in the expected way: "...we have not ceased praying for you." Then he identifies the content of his prayers for these people. Several of the petitions have been identified as Key Words and Phrases.

The Colossians church was being upset by the teachings and demands of outsiders. The essence of Paul's prayer was for a sense of peace. That peace depends on trusting the God who alone holds the future and makes a place of belonging for God's people.

Paul's example is worthy of imitating. We should not cease praying daily for the congregation of which we are a part. Given the circumstances and context of your church, what would be included in your daily prayer? What would most help the church to be faithful, effective, at peace with each other, and undaunted by outside threats or influences? Why not begin to pray for your congregation every day?

prayer without ceasing
calls for a patience beyond patience
known otherwise as joy

prayer without ceasing
calls for action beyond results
known otherwise as hope

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