What do you desire for your church and why? The numbers to grow? For members to be faithful in attendance? More dedication to the church and its programs? The sick to be made well? Whether listed in a bulletin or during a time of sharing, the most requests for prayer include a long list for the sick. Scripture instructs us to pray for healing as well as our every day needs. But I find these things conspicuously missing in Paul’s prayers for the churches. Could it be our real need goes beyond our physical body and its comforts? If we need wholeness of body to do the work God calls us to, He will provide it. But one day, this body of flesh will die, unless the Lord returns first. Our real need goes deeper to the wholeness of our spirit found in Christ, in order for the gospel to bring His light to a dark world. Paul begins his prayer for the believers at Colosse with the following desire.
“…desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:”
“…knowledge of his will…” “But let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight.” “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Jer. 9:24; John 7:16,17; Romans 12:2). Continue reading Romans 12:3-21 to find a whole new list to add to your prayers for the church in action.
“…in all wisdom…” My definition of wisdom: Using your knowledge of God to direct your relationship with Him as to be pleasing in His sight. “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom…” “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.'(Job 28:28; Matt. 7:24; James 3:17; 1:5).
“…and spiritual understanding…” Spiritual understanding follows wisdom and is guided by the Spirit producing the fruit of righteousness. “Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments…Keep therefore and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations…”Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” “For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” “Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” (Deut. 4:5,6; Ps. 119:104; Prov. 2:6; 2Tim. 2:7).
The knowledge of God leads to wisdom and spiritual understanding that we may know His will, be pleasing in His sight, understanding how to live guided by the Spirit.
Take a minute to review the above scriptures. What is missing from your prayer list for the church?How many things will you add to it? Remember as you are praying for your church, you are praying for your self.
Loving Heavenly Father, may we each grow in your grace and knowledge, following wisdom to understand what your will is in our lives. May we, as a body, shine your glory in the sight of the nations. Amen.