Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul’s fifth request for the Colossians was that they would be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience” (Col. 1:11). Whenever we face trials or challenges, our strength may be drained, we may doubt our qualifications and abilities, and we might take out our frustrations on those closest to us. The same is likely for those that we are praying for. They probably feel weak, inadequate, and discouraged. They need God’s strength to help them endure and obey Him in spite of the obstacles that they encounter, and to be patient with those around them. Ask the Father to teach them how to lean on Him, and not on their own capabilities. Pray that their dependence on the Holy Spirit will increase and that they would trust Him to enable them to do his will. As they rely on His power He will “confirm and strengthen, and establish them” (1 Peter 5:10).
Paul’s final petition was that the Colossians would have the right attitude: “Joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light” (Col.1:11-12). He asked that even in hardship, they would be grateful for all God had done in their lives, counting the many blessings He had given. We should pray that the people we are burdened for will see the Lord’s loving kindness, even in the midst of adversity, trusting that He will bring good out of their sufferings. 1 Thess. 5:18 says “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The word ‘everything’ is a challenge because there are times when we do not feel particularly grateful. There are some things that are set to steal our joy and our focus away from the Father. It is important to pray that the Lord Jesus is enthroned in our praises (Psalm 22:3), there is nothing better we can do than give Him thanks even in the most difficult circumstances. When we take our eyes off our problems and focus on Him, we realize that He has already given us the victory.
Do you want your friends and your loved ones to have an intimate, powerful relationship with the Father? Do you want them to serve Him passionately and faithfully? Your prayer will have an incredible influence in their lives. Lift them up regularly, using Paul’s word from Colossians as your pattern, and trust God to work in their lives in a mighty way. I challenge you to memorize this as an outline; pray that the people you are burdened for, your friends, and your loved ones would develop:
An understanding of God’s will (Col. 1:9)
A worthy walk (Col. 1:10)
A fruitful walk (Col. 1:10)
The knowledge of God (Col. 1:10)
Powerful, steadfast, patient strength (Col. 1:11)
A heart of joyful thanks (Col 1:11-12)
None of this guarantees that every moment will be easy, but it does help you and the ones you are praying for to become more Christlike as they listen to the Word and obey the Lord. You may never know the impact of your prayers, just remember the Lord you serve “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20). He may do more through your intercession for others than you could ever dream.
Keep talking to Him and praying for others!