THE UNSELFISHNESS OF PRAYER

“For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.”   Colossians 2:1 NKJV

 

Paul’s conflict was not self-centred – it was on behalf of others. “A great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea”. This is the essence of prayer – intercession on behalf of others. If our times of prayer are largely taken up with prayers for our own needs, however genuine, we are failing at a crucial point. If our time is mainly taken up with prayers for others, we shall soon find that our own blessings begin to abound. Paul was praying for a people he had never met, and would probably never meet. This is not easy to do; in fact it is very difficult, but it is a real test of spirituality. One is reminded of the saying, “out of sight, out of mind”. We are tempted to limit our prayers to friends we know and causes that concern us. This was not so with Paul; his heart went out to the entire Church of God, in every place where he knew, through friends, that small groups of Christians were to be found. Paul’s empathy was immediate, wide, and deep, and this is one of the tests of true spirituality. Our empathy may be immediate yet narrow, or wide but not deep, or deep but not wide. As we ponder the conflict, unselfishness, and empathy of prayer, are we challenged about our prayer life?

 

PRAYER THOUGHT

Lord, give us a sympathy and unselfishness in our prayer life.

 

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, as we ponder the conflict, unselfishness, and empathy of prayer, move us to pray as Paul did, through the power and ministry of Your Holy Spirit. AMEN

 

I.B.R.A. Readings

1 Peter 2:4-5

 

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