The other day I was listening to Dr. Charles Stanley on my drive to work, A Pattern of Powerful Prayer, based on the following Scripture. What a powerful prayer!

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, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)

Sometimes we want to pray for another person but aren’t sure what to say. If you’ve ever been confused about how to intercede for someone, Paul’s prayer in Colossians is appropriate for every person and every situation. Because it aligns perfectly with God’s will, you can ask these requests with confidence—both for yourself and for others:

To be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.Not only do we need to know God’s plan for our lives; we also require discernment to distinguish His guiding voice from our own self-directed notions.

To walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in all ways. Our lives should be patterned after the One we follow, with a goal of glorifying Him.

To bear fruit in every good work. Instead of being wrapped up in our own jobs, possessions, pleasures, and plans, we should be contributing to others’ lives.

To increase in the knowledge of God. By reading His Word and applying it to our lives, we will gain a deeper understanding of the Lord.

To be strengthened with His power so we remain steadfast. The Christian life can be lived only with the Holy Spirit’s power.

To joyously give thanks for all God has done for us. Believers should be characterized by joy and gratitude.

Too often we focus our requests on temporal needs and miss the deeper spiritual work God wants to do. Imagine how effective your prayers will be if you’ll shift the emphasis of your petitions to the Lord’s desires. He will transform you and the people for whom you intercede.

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