Many of you may know someone you would call a "prayer warrior"...someone who is passionate about praying for whomever and whatever is needed. My Babci (Polish for Grandma) was a woman like that. She was a sweet, humble, godly woman who always seemed to be in an attitude of prayer.
I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't always been able to identify with my dear Babci. For much of my Christian life, prayer was a "spiritual discipline," a necessary habit to form...in other words, a chore -- one of many in my "to do list" form of Christian walk.
My prayer list (a.k.a. "ball and chain," when I finally was honest to admit it) was something I dreaded each day:
I HATED IT! What a bondage prayer was to me!
Then the truth of the Indwelling Life of Christ began to break through in my life! Life union with the Lover of my soul captured my mind and heart! And everything began to change...including prayer.
I abandoned my prayer list and told the Lord,
I'm not praying until YOU show me what prayer really is!
I know, a bit risky! Even somewhat sacrilegious? But guess what? God met me where I was. Soon prayer began to well up from within, rather than be formulated by me in my head.
That was many years ago now. I can use a prayer list now without feeling suffocated. And I now experience the privilege of lifting up my praise, worship, and requests to the Throne of Grace and Mercy.
But I wonder about Paul. As a devout Jew, he had had certain required prayers to say at specific times. Did he too go through a freeing experience concerning prayer as he came to know the Risen, Living Lord?
What is obvious is that Paul had gotten it about prayer by the time he wrote the letter to the Colossians. Throughout this short letter, Paul talks about prayer:
he himself prays; he exhorts to prayer; he asks for prayer; he tells about the prayer of another.
So this week at A Branch in the Vine is Praying Week.
As you read this week, make note of all the references to prayer, pray, praying in the book. [HINT: they are in the first and last chapters]
Then focus on Paul's magnificent prayer in Colossians 1:9-12. See if you can answer theses questions:
What is the heart of the prayer? That is, the main request? (Col 1:9) Why does Paul pray that? That is, the reason/purpose for that request? (Col 1:10) What will be the results? What will that look like in everyday life? (Col 1:10-12)
I'll see you in a few days...and above all, PRAY as you keep reading the spiritual feast found in the book of Colossians!