What To Pray For
By Pr.Steven Hynes
...so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work...
As Paul continues this prayer for the Colossians, he mentions activities that believers can deliberately choose to do. This is very instructive not only for how to pray for others, but also for how to live our own lives. First, Paul prays that you may live a life worthy of the Lord. When you understand what God has made you to be, that you are his child, cherished by him, your guilt and sin taken care of, and that God is your loving Father who protects you, guides and guards you, and when you see him in all his majesty and beauty then you will become concerned about whether your behavior reflects his beauty, and what others will think of your God when they are watching you. That is a life worthy of the Lord. In others of his letters the apostle urges Christians to walk worthy of their calling. We are to be concerned about our impact upon others, how our lives are impacting theirs, and what our actions make them think about our God.
The second activity that Paul prays for is that they might seek to please him in every way. The chief aim of every believer ought to be that he is pleasing to God; that he seeks to live in a way that delights God. What quality of life is pleasing to God? The Scripture probably puts it most effectively in a negative way. In the book of Hebrews we are told, Without faith it is impossible to please God! Faith is what pleases him. Every time Jesus approved or commended people it was because of their faith. You have great faith, he said to the woman who pled with him to heal her flow of blood. Your faith is great, he said to a centurion who asked him to heal his servant. Whenever our Lord commends people for anything it is because they believe him and act on what he says. They don't conform to the customs of people around. Rather, they swim against the stream of life and stand firmly upon what he says, trusting him. That is what pleases God.
Here is the third activity Paul prays for: bearing fruit in every good work. The fruit, always and everywhere in Scripture, is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, and peace, in our relationships and actions regarding others; concern, compassion, encouragement, and help in a time of stress, bringing a word of peace into a troubled, hostile atmosphere. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God. That is what Paul is talking about: bearing fruit in every good work.
Father, today as I walk with you help me to live a life worthy of you, pleasing you in every way and bearing fruit in every good work.
What are three instructive ways to pray for our own lives and others'? Are we aware of the significance of these prayers in terms of their life-changing effects?