How To Pray Intentionally
Does anyone else’s pray life fall flat sometimes?
I’ll be honest, it can be hard to pray sometimes - and it can be hard for a variety of reasons. For instance, I always find it difficult to pray when I’m walking through a tough season. Even when I am committed to prayer, I’ll admit that sometimes I start praying, and then my mind will wander to various anxieties and distractions. Or, when I do find the concentration to pray, I’m come up empty with what to say - so I end up saying the same generic prayer. Nothing is wrong with praying the same prayer. In fact, just the practice of praying consistently is something to rejoice and be encouraged in! But oftentimes, I feel that I want to go deeper when I talk with God.
I think it’s safe to say that each and every one of us can struggle in our prayer lives from time to time. So, I think this blog post can help us all find a great place to start praying intentionally.
As I was reading through and meditating on Colossians 1 this week, I could see that Paul was in the habit of praying for the church at Colossae and I think we can all learn a lot from what he had to say!
If you’re like me and want to start being more intentional in your prayer life, here are three things that you can start praying for today:
1. Pray For Spiritual Understanding
2 Peter 3:18, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."
In verse 9 Paul points out that he is praying for knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. I think this is such an important point because to know God is our first responsibility as believers. Spiritual ignorance is never encouraged in the Bible but rather spiritual growth and maturity are expected and encouraged.
2. Pray For Your Spiritual Walk
Colossians 1:10, "So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, berating fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Spiritual understanding is one thing, but actually living it out is another. It’s important to pray for that solid understanding but then also pray for the ability to walk it out in your everyday life. You see, on our own, we can’t do much good. But if we ask God to empower us by His Holy Spirit, we can bear good fruit as it mentions in verse 10. We can bear good fruit AND increase in the knowledge of God.
Having a solid spiritual walk is not only necessary for your own spiritual maturity but it is also needed to be a light to the dark world around us. God chose His children to be ambassadors for Him in this world, so we are called to live like Christ. None of this can be accomplished on our own power because Jesus lived the perfect life that we could not. BUT the power of the Holy Spirit in us is what causes us to bear good fruit.
3. Pray For Others
James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be headed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working."
Paul didn’t just pray these things over himself, and so we shouldn’t just pray these things over ourselves. Don't get me wrong, definitely ask the Lord for your increased spiritual knowledge and for your spiritual walk but also pray that over others. All believers need to be strengthened in these things, and I believe that praying for one another is an amazing way to support and come alongside your brother or sister in Christ.
Bonus: Pray With A Thankful Heart
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
In verses 12-14 in Colossians 1, Paul gives specific thanks to the Father. He makes mention that the Father is the one who qualifies us to share in the inheritance. It’s important in prayer to stop and give thanks for exactly what the Lord has done for you - making mention of His deliverance and provisions in your life. As a Christian, you have been delivered from the power of darkness - from the domain of Satan - and brought to the Light.
All of this is made possible by His blood.
It can be so easy to pray to God for things that we wish we had BUT when we pray with a heart full of thanksgiving, God can transform our hearts to be thankful for what we already have. He has saved you from the domain of Satan and call you a Child of His. What more could a person want or need?