Praying Paul’s Prayers for our Church

May 30, 2024 | Albania | 0 comments

Praying Paul’s Prayers for our Church

Colin Stephen – Shkoder, Albania

As some of you will know, our church here in Shkoder currently only has one church leader (myself); but we are moving toward appointing a new leadership team and I am about to finish teaching through 1 Timothy and then we plan to meet to discuss how practically this will look in our own situation.

I have noticed throughout this teaching that Paul emphasises the importance of leaders who both teach and protect the church from false teaching. However, this public work is never to be separated from a holy life, that is an example to others. And it is never separated from a leadership that is caring for the church by praying for them. (Acts 6:4)

As I have been praying for our own community, I have noticed that I pray more for individuals and the struggles that they face, for the strengthening of their faith in trials and, especially, for specific issues. Yet, when I read Paul’s prayers for the churches, his prayers seem to be on a different level, completely. Take for example, Colossians 1:9-12

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 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, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.

Notice how Paul prays not just that they know God’s will, but that they are filled with the knowledge of His will (v9). Not that they have wisdom but that they have all wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives(v9). Not just that their worthy life will please Him, but that it will please Him in every way (10). Bearing fruit in every good work (v10). Not just knowing God but growing in that knowledge (10). Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might (v11) that we might give thanks to Him, who has brought us into His wonderful kingdom (12).

I have been spending time with my bible open, slowly praying through Paul’s own prayers, asking that God would bless our small community in the ways that Paul asks for – a filling of the knowledge of God’s will, with all understanding that His Holy Spirit gives, so that in every way, in marriage, family, work, society, and also in our church gatherings, we would please Him in all we do.

I continually ask what a life that bears fruit in every good work could actually look like – I think it would be a radical, clear, powerful testimony of the Spirit working in and through us. Therefore, I ask that God would fill our family, and our church with lives that bear fruit in every single good work that we do.

I pray that we would not be stagnant in our faith but that ours would be a moving faith, a continually growing faith, as we come to know and experience Him more. I ask for a deeper knowledge of His love, and a greater experience of His Spirit.

Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, I am still living in the good of the last Lighthouse weekend away in Warsaw, where we looked at our identity and the authority that we have in Christ Jesus. All His power available in and through us, to transform us and to influence others. May we all understand this truth and live in the good of it. All glory to God, who has brought this salvation through His own love and through His own Son, our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.

And so my praying is becoming less for individuals and their specific problems; and instead, I am far more following Paul’s outstanding requests.

Finally, at the point of writing, we are looking forward to Dave and Tricia King (along with a team of eight) coming to pray for our church at the end of May. We appreciate this loving partnership.


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