OTHERS FIRST [1 March 2013]

Today’s Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:1-14

Paul is writing to the Colossian church – a church he had not himself
visited yet, but one that he had heard much about. This was a church
that was struggling to seperate doctrinal truth from some of the
‘nonsense’ they were being taught.

Paul begins his letter by encouraging the church: “We always thank
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (v3).
Later on he says, “for this reason, since the day we heard about you,
we have not stopped praying for you…” (v9).

We understand that prayer is one of the most important components of
the Christian journey. Without communication, any relationship
suffers. The relationship we have with Jesus Christ is no different –
it requires regular (at least daily) communication with Jesus for us
to grow in our knowledge and experience of Him. However, more than
just communicating with God about what is happening in our own lives,
it is incredibly valuable to communicate with God about others. When
we pray for others, whether to thank God for what He has done in their
lives or pray for Him to intervene in their circumstance, we become
partners in what God is doing in and through other people.

In this way, we also significantly reduce the potential for our
Christianity to become selfish. We reduce the potential for our prayer
life to be all about ourselves. We become aware of what God is doing
in other people’s lives.

Paul prayed regularly (he says “we have not stopped praying for you”)
for the Colossians. This sets an example for you and I to do the same:
to pray continuously for others.

I have regularly started a prayer journal (it’s a note on my phone,
for easy access) where I only write down the prayer needs of others.
It has helped me to take regular time out to both ask people what they
need prayer for, and then to pray for those things. Why don’t you
consider doing something similar.


If praying for others is something you already do regularly – great.
Let this passage be a reminder to you to continue. If praying for
others is something you don’t do often, today is a great time to
start. Here are a few suggestions to help you:

* Text 2 people and ask them if they have anything that need prayer

* Make a note of these prayer requests on your phone, in a journal or
on your computer

* Pray for them (this is the most important part) today!

* Pray for them every day this week.

* Send them a message in a day or two to encourage them – let them
know you have prayed for them again.

* Make a note (cell phone reminders are great!) to ask them in a few
days how they are doing in relation to your prayer request.


Lord God – thank you that you are concerned about us. Thank you for
the way you love and care for us. Please help me to be more concerned
about the needs of the people in my life. Help me to pray for them
regularly, just as Paul prayed for the Colossians.

Right now, I bring these people and their prayer requests to you:

Pray for the people you have contacted, or for anyone else that you
know need prayer

Thank you Lord Jesus.


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