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When you’re praying for a friend or family member, what are your prayers like? Do you pray for their salvation, that they would come to have faith in Christ? Do you pray for some kind of physical healing? Do you find yourself praying for your will to be done in their lives, or do you find yourself praying for God’s will to be done…whatever that may look like?
Throughout the New Testament, we get an interesting picture of Paul’s prayer life. In his book titled Prayer, Pastor and Author Timothy Keller writes, “It is remarkable that in all of his writings Paul’s prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances. It is certain that they lived in the midst of many dangers and hardships. They faced persecution, death from disease, oppression by powerful forces, and separation from loved ones. Yet in these prayers you see not one petition for a better emperor, for protection from marauding armies, or even for bread for the next meal. Paul does not pray for the goods we would usually have near the top of our lists of requests…[what] he most frequently prayed for his friends, was for them to know God better.”
READING & PRAYERS:
In today’s reading, Paul is praying specifically for the Christians in Ephesus to grow in spiritual wisdom. What are at least 3 things that stand out to you from this prayer? (If interested, click here to read a lengthy compilation of Paul’s prayers in the New Testament.)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I agree with Timothy Keller, it really is remarkable that in all of Paul’s prayers for his friends, he does not pray for changes in their circumstances. When I reflect on my own prayers, I recognize that I often pray for better circumstances for me and my loved ones. Help me to let my prayers be more focused on knowing You and Your will than asking You to fulfill my will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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