Please find a quiet place to focus on these scriptures, asking for an open mind and heart to hear God’s wisdom for us today.
New International Version (NIV)
Thanksgiving and Prayer
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Being one of the “saints” at POG has been such a learning experience for me, in the area of prayer. I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home, but prayer was pretty much reserved for church activities, and before and after meals. I’m sure my parents and grandparents prayed for me as I was growing up, but I don’t really remember overhearing those prayers. As I learn to step out of that “canned prayer thinking mode”, these verses are a HUGE example from the Apostle Paul that we should be praying for each other, at all times, and for all things. Thanksgiving, praise, requests, guidance, wisdom… every kind of prayer. This prayer for all of the “saints” (including you and me!) was written down as a reminder of the importance of prayer. It’s the very FIRST thing listed in Ephesians 1 along with thanksgiving. Prayer. Connection to God, and connection to each other. Receiving God’s grace, and reminding people around me about God’s love and grace.
I recognized during worship this morning, as Pastor was stressing the importance of praying for each other, that it’s easier for me to pray for others than for my own family. Yikes – what’s up with that? Then I realized that very often, the things that I pray for, for Jim or one of the kids, is also VERY close to my heart – things I might be anxious or worried about. I think that is why, before Paul stressed the importance of prayer, in Ephesians 1:1-14, he reminded us of the depth, width, and magnitude of God’s sacrifice, love and grace. If we are praying from THAT place, with THAT knowledge, then what is there to be scared/nervous/anxious about? God has got everything in our lives covered. He only asks us to come to Him, to do this life, with Him. Prayer is a conversation where we should encourage each other, and praise and thank Him for this life. What better place to do that, than with the people we love the most?
Father, forgive me for letting my anxiety keep me from praying with my family and friends. Thank you for a loving “saint” filled church, where I can go to be prayed for, and in turn, learn to lift others up to you. Thank you for loving me, a sinner. I accept your grace and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.