Read: Colossians 2:1-15
Consider: Having not met someone tends to place severe restrictions on how we pray for them. We might only know the person’s name and the barest details of their situation. Should we allow this to hinder our prayers?
In Paul’s letter to the believers in Colossae it is clear that he had not personally met all of them and by implication many of them had not met him (Colossians 2:1). Did Paul let this stop him praying for the Colossians? No! Paul knew that he did not have to be in Colossae and to know the people personally to pray meaningfully for them.
What can we learn from Paul’s approach? The main thing is not to let physical distance and lack of personal knowledge prevent you from praying for others. It is clear that Paul only had snippets of information about the Colossians (see 2:5), yet what Paul wanted for the believers was powerful and relevant. Going over today’s reading we can see that Paul was eager for them to:
- be encouraged in heart (2);
- be united in love (2);
- have complete understanding of their faith (2);
- continue to live in Christ (6);
- be overflowing with thankfulness (7).
Even in a church setting there will be people who feel isolated and alone at times. This may be particularly so during the social isolation and distancing required during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you know of someone who is feeling this way, pray for them using the five heading above. You may not know all their circumstances, but don’t let that hold you back. Pray for them and don’t be afraid to let them know that you are supporting them in prayer. Remember that you and they are not alone during this crisis. As God upholds you and supports you day-by-day, so do the same for the vulnerable and needy in your fellowship.
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you’ (Isaiah 41:13).
Pray: Father, help us to be encouragers, praying for the vulnerable and needy in our church fellowships. Give us the right words to say when we are praying. When the words won’t come, may your Holy Spirit help us in our weakness, interceding for us through wordless groans. Amen