9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Today we will look at the importance of prayer…and praying for others. I know that whenever we have our meetings, that’s is always one request that I would make to all of you… “pray for one another”. Again, we may not know what is going on in each and every one of our lives, but there is never anything wrong when we pray for each other.
Last Sunday, I was touched by the last song, the hymnal that we sang that brought about this message. The lyrics went like this….
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord in prayer
Can we find a friend so faithful. Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness. Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Scriptures are clear, and full of believers who prayed for the safety, the faith, the well-being of their brothers and sisters. If anyone was going through some trials, challenges in life, they prayed. If anyone was sick, they prayed. If there was anyone in need, they prayed. And we know that our loving God hears the prayers of His children.
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
So…prayer is very important to every believer. Every Christian can minister directly to the spiritual well-being of other believers without seeing or speaking to them. We can play a role in their spiritual growth, and even secure God's blessings for them. Intercessory prayer accomplishes amazing things and it’s within our grasp. “Please Pray For Me”
Each of you in your inner person - your new person in Christ- should have a desire to pray for others. Jesus did. Jesus prayed for His disciples, and for every believer. So, with the heart of Christ in you, you should do the same. Others will need your prayers if they are going to be all Christ has for them to be.
Paul prayed for believers who were marked by love that has its origin in the Spirit. Listen as verse 8 lead into verse 9, our opening verse.
8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.
The best that people can hope for in this life is to know God’s will and fulfill the purpose He has planned. We should ask God to reveal His will and empower them to fulfill it when we pray for others. We ask for them to be filled with the knowledge of His will.
The second petition in the first part of verse 10 is that after they know God’s will they would choose to live out God’s will…
10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
God desires us to live a life based on what He has done for us. Paul prayed that people would know God’s will, but he also understood that knowing God’s will did not guarantee doing God’s will. Living a life worthy of the Lord grows out of knowing God’s will.
The reason he prayed that they would know God’s will is, so they would do God’s will or walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. He prayed that they would act on what they have learned. Only through action does a person fulfill the purpose God has for His children. Only as we act on God’s will can we please Him in greater ways. The ultimate goal of knowing God’s will and walking in a worthy manner, is to please the Lord.
Our lives should not be guided by expectations from our self or others. We must be guided by the Lord, who redeemed us, called us and has been transforming us, so that we are worthy of His name, a name that is above every name. Don’t be trapped into a life of trying to please others, please the Lord.
The people of Paul’s time valued the accumulation of knowledge but Paul points out knowledge in itself is useless - empty. To be worth anything it must lead to a changed life and right living.
Thirdly, Pray For Productivity In Their Lives. What kind of life pleases the Lord? A life that continually bears fruit. Verse 10 continues, “Being fruitful in every good work.” To do good works without bearing any eternal fruit is tragic. So, he prayed they would bear spiritual fruit which is eternal.
Paul wanted those he prayed for to be wise, but he also wanted them to use their knowledge. God wants us to learn more about Him and then put our belief into practice by helping others. Paul prayed that the people would lead productive lives.
The life of an obedient Christian is fruitful. Our Creator designed us to be fruitful. Jesus said, “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will remain” or last. From last week’s message…
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
The greatest fruit that a person’s life can bear has lasting value; usually that means actions with eternal consequences, such as salvation for unbelievers and Spirit empowered ministry to other members of the body of Christ. So, when you pray for others, pray that they would be productive, and that they would choose to bear fruit that is eternal.
Fourthly, Pray For Them To Have A Growing Relationship With God.
A Christian should not only bear eternal fruit, he should also attain spiritual growth which is the last request in verse 10. “increasing in the knowledge of God.”
Most of what we learn about God will not be revealed to us until we know His will, live out His will, and begin bearing eternal fruit. God cannot really disclose Himself to us until we become obedient children. By living a life in sin, is the opposite of knowing or living in Gods will.
Paul knew that everything hinges on the health and vitality of our relationship with our Creator. What rain and sunshine are to the nurture of plants, the knowledge of God is to the growth and maturing of spiritual life. Keep in mind, from our verse from James, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”.
So, by ignoring the will of God, and living a life of sin is doing the exact opposite of a fruitful life. By living a life in sin, your praying to God, your praying for others, will God listen?
If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
In another translation, “if I have kept sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened”. So, you have a prayer request for yourself, but your living in sin, will that prayer be answered? Again, God cannot really disclose Himself to us until we become obedient children.
A genuine knowledge of Christ reveals itself in a transformed life, a life that has been washed by His blood, a life that has been forgiven, a life that is obedient to His commands…
A genuine knowledge of Christ reveals itself in a transformed character…
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
1 Thessalonians 2:12
12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
This is what Paul means, this was his prayer for every believer, when he said “do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”. We are talk in the way that we are called. Knowing the will of God, and by being obedient. By doing so, Spiritual fruits will remain, and prayers will be answered.
Five, Pray For Power In each others life…
Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.
Paul prayed that the people would receive power. The power he was speaking of was of the Holy Spirit of God. This empowering is the only kind that is according to His glorious might. It is not given simply according to our need, but according to God’s supply, according to His glorious might. As Christians, each of us can be empowered by the Holy Spirit.
If we are to do anything of value, we must have Him as the source of our power. Just like all the electrical things we have at home, we need a source of power. When it is unplugged, its worthless, and does nothing!
We’re like that. Without the power from our Source, the Spirit of Christ, we’re not effective. We may be able to do some things on our own, but they have no eternal value. When we really understand this, we begin to see ourselves as we really are. We realize that we need and must depend on God.
That’s why it’s important to ask God to give others His power as we pray for them. Without that power, they won’t be able to make a difference for Him. But with that power, they can show strength in the face of adversity, patience during trials, and endurance to finish the race God has laid out before them. And then, in the end, we can hope that God will tell the Christian brothers and sisters we prayed for, “well done good, and faithful servant”.
Six, pray for others to have the right attitude.
giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
Paul was praying that they would have and maintain a positive, thankful, joyful attitude. Why pray for people’s attitude? Our attitude impacts nearly every aspect of our lives. It influences our behavior, our ability to learn, our contentment, and relationships - including our relationship with God. It affects each person’s life and Christian walk in a far greater way than you might think.
As you pray for others to share in a joyful attitude, remember that joy is different from happiness. Joy is internal and based on Christ. Happiness is external and based on circumstances. Joy is eternal and linked to our salvation, where happiness is temporary and based on fleeting emotions. Pray that your Christian brothers and sisters find joy in their lives, and that as a result, they would be salt and light to those around them.
As you spend an increasing amount of time praying for others, you will find that your attitude toward people improves. It becomes more positive and compassionate. Your prayer focus will also mature. You will find that where you once focused on receiving, your concern has shifted to being a blessing. As Jesus said…
35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
You want to be a blessing to others, pray for them, and see God answer your prayers, by seeing the prayer evident in their life. You will find that as your prayer changes others, and it also changes you.
Let’s close with an illustration.
A gathering of friends at an English estate nearly turned to tragedy when one of the children strayed into deep water. The gardener heard the cries for help, plunged in, and RESCUED THE DROWNING CHILD. That youngster's name' was Winston Churchill. His grateful parents' asked the gardener what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." "We’ll see to it," Churchill's parents promised.
Years later, while Sir Winston was prime minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. The country’s best physician was summoned. His name was Dr. Alexander Fleming, the man who discovered and developed penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved young Winston from drowning" Later Churchill remarked, "Rarely has one man owed his life twice to the same person."
Churchill's experience reminds us of our double indebtedness as Christians to God. First, His Son Jesus gave us the precious gift of salvation. Then, Jesus the Great Physician, offers to us the priceless gift of sanctification.
Paul’s prayer was for the full enrichment of lives. All believers have the same basic needs. Paul’s pattern of prayer opens the door for God to meet them. As we pray for others to share in the inheritance of the saints their life changes. They begin to receive the greater gifts of God’s grace. They will become what they never could have without your prayers for them. They will learn more about God and put their beliefs into practice by helping others. As they do they will bear fruit and their attitude will change into one of continuous joyfulness and thankfulness.
The Title of this message is, “Please Pray For Me”. The person right next to you, in front of you, or behind, may be shy or embarrassed to ask you for a prayer. But ill tell you this, they will never be mad at you for praying for them. You will be a blessing to them by your prayers, and you will be blessed by the Lord by seeing that prayer answered. Your faith will be stronger, your prayer life will be more powerful than ever. As Scripture told us “do not cease to pray”.
Pastor Richard Santos
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