by Krisie Brown
Let’s face it, life is NOT safe. From risking your heart in loving someone to stepping out to try something new, anything really worth doing is NOT safe. And let’s face it, life would be boring if it was safe. Yet often I find myself praying for safety, health, traveling comforts, a good night’s sleep. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with praying for those things. We all benefit from health and safe travel, and what mother of a newborn doesn’t desperately need a good night’s sleep? Heck, I’m over 40 and still very much in need of my solid eight hours.
I recently did a study on Colossians 1:9-14, in which Paul prays for the church at Colossae. What does he deem worthy to pray for them? Is it health or good rest or safety from persecution? Not exactly.
Paul prays for knowledge of God’s will, spiritual wisdom, righteous living that pleases God, to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and more.
These are not safe prayers! To live righteously in a world that tells everyone to do what makes them feel good, to take the easy way and put yourself first? It’s not easy – to please God means to put others first, to be a conduit for His love and to serve.
Paul prays for the production of fruit for Christ, persevering in faith, giving joyful thanks to the Father and having hope in our inheritance in heaven.
Again, not safe. Following Christ’s lead to share the gospel of Christ being the only way in a culture of pluralism … keeping faith in hard times … giving thanks when circumstances cave in on us … and looking past our present to believe we have an eternity with our Savior full of joy and no tears … can be terribly hard.
We live daily in and around the crushing reality of evil, but Paul prays for the believers that they will remember they have been rescued from evil’s clutches. In Christ, they and we have the victory over sin and death.
Indeed, these are not safe prayers, but they are soul-saving prayers. I took the main prayer themes from this passage of scripture and created an acronym that might be helpful in praying for others.
T Teaching us knowledge of God’s will
R Righteous living that pleases God
E Empowered by the Holy Spirit – spiritually strengthened
N Nurturing and bearing fruit for Christ
G Grit your teeth – persevere in faith and righteousness
T Thanksgiving to the Father, joyfully
H Hope in heaven – an inheritance
E Evil – we must discern and remember we have been rescued from its clutches
N Never forgetting we have the victory in Christ
You could make a bookmark of that! (Click here to print the one I made!) I’d like to challenge us all to pray through these themes for our loved ones this year. Whether you pray them daily, once a week or just when you happen to see your bookmark, take the challenge and see what great things God will do for each other as we pray to be STRENGTHEN-ED, not just safe.
I ask you, Lord, to fill my loved one with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that my loved one may live a life worthy of you, Lord, and please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so that my loved one may have great endurance and patience … and I give joyful thanks to you, Father, for you have qualified my loved one to share in the inheritance of God’s holy people in the kingdom of light. For you, Lord, have rescued my loved one from the dominion of darkness and brought my loved one into the kingdom of the Son you love, Jesus, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Amen.
May you find many opportunities to pray.
Krisie Brown has been involved in both the Women’s and Children’s Ministries at First Congregational Church of Hamilton for close to 30 years. She and her husband live in Ipswich, MA with their three children (Morgan, Calvin and Sydney). Currently, she is on the board of by design ministries and the teaching team for the Women’s Bible Study at her church. Krisie loves to be involved at church and in her children’s schools, building community.