pray for you,4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and
of the love you have for all his people—"
I love this. If I'm being honest, how often have I considered the
church down the street the "competition?" How often do I look at how
far they have come or the number of people they are reaching or at
their location or facilities or resources with sheer envy?
Unfortunately in this journey I have fallen in to this trap many times.
Other churches are the "haves" and we are the "have-nots." Or, I go the
other direction. "Look at all we are doing that is right! What are all
those other knuckleheads thinking?" As natural as it may seem to fall
into this, I think it is something for which I need to continually
repent. It's a trap… it really is. These other churches are our
partners in the gospel and when I think of them I should thank God for
their ministry because of their faith in Jesus and their love for his
people. I need to pray for them and their leaders as Paul prayed for
the church in Collosae.
So today I pray with Paul for churches, pastors, and followers of Jesus in our community.
God, fill them with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom
and understanding that your Spirit gives, so that they may live a life
worthy of you, Lord and please you in every way: bearing fruit in every
good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all
power according to your glorious might so that they may have great
endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to you Father, who has
qualified them to share in the inheritance of your people in the
kingdom of light. For you have rescued us from the dominion of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of the Son you love, in whom we have
redemption, the forgiveness of sins.