All the talk about prayer has reminded me of something that I've been thinking about for a while now. I think about my prayers and the prayers of those around me. I think about what we ask God for.
I've realized that I most often pray small prayers. I ask God for small things. I don't mean things like, "please help me find a parking space," (although I've certainly prayed that one). I mean things that really don't matter much in light of eternity. They seem really big at the time and in my own little world, but will be forgotten by this time next year.
I'm inspired by Paul's prayers.
….that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. Ephesians 1:17-19
….that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
….that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.... Colossians 1:9b-11
….that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
….that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake. Philemon 1:6
Isn't that good stuff?! If all followers of Christ sought the things in these verses, wouldn't our churches be healthier? We would be focused on the right things, with the right attitudes. We wouldn't have time (or the stomach) for petty games, finger-pointing, criticism, selfishness, and self-righteousness.
These are the prayers I want to pray for you, and want you to pray for me. If we spend our days with enlightened eyes, with abounding love, growing in knowledge and wisdom, fulfilling our calling, won't everything else just fall into its proper place?
Hey believers, it's time for us to get our act together, to truly reflect Christ to a hopeless, deceived, and dying world. They are watching!
Lord, let me walk in a manner worthy of You, pleasing you in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of You; strengthened with all power, according to Your glorious might, to attain steadfastness and patience.
Let's pray these prayers for ourselves and others. Today and every day.