Effectively Praying Scripture (NIV)
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- Format: Folded Tract
- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 4
- Version: NIV
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The full text of this tract is shown below in the NIV version. (Do you want to print this tract in a different version than the one listed? Contact us and let us know what you're looking for—we may be able to create the alternate version for you at no charge.)
What should we pray for? There are many Godly prayers recorded in the Bible. If we look at these prayers, we will find in them many ideas for the kinds of prayers we should offer.
One of the best examples of this is the prayer made by Paul in Colossians 1:9-12. Here, as in other passages, Paul told the Christians he was addressing that he was praying for them, and then proceeded to expound the main topics of his prayers. These provide excellent guidelines for our own prayers. Always remind yourself that when you use these guidelines not to mindlessly recite these petitions (requests). Rather, rephrase them to make them your own. You should also take the time to study them to gain insight into exactly what you are asking, why you are asking it, and why God should grant it. And when you pray, express all three ideas; this is praying with understanding, as it is the Biblical way to pray.
Here is what Paul prayed (Colossians 1:9-12):
“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.”
Notice that in this prayer Paul elaborates on his base petitions, going into detail about how they should be fulfilled in the lives of the objects of his prayers. He understood what he wanted for them and why.
There is not a single petition in this prayer for a material need. All of the petitions are for spiritual needs. They are about spiritual growth and effective Christian living. And this happens to be a major theme in Biblical prayers, especially in the New Testament. This is not to say we should not pray for material needs; we most certainly should. But we must make recognizing and praying for spiritual needs the main thrust of our petitions; material needs are secondary. Too much emphasis on the material tends to waste our prayer time. Focusing on spiritual needs in our prayer is consistent with the spiritual principle of “Seek ye first the kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33, KJV).
Paul’s petitions can be summarized for our use as follows: we should pray these things for ourselves, as well as for other Christians.
Pray to truly know God’s will. This means praying that we will fill our needs with God’s word.
Pray for wisdom and spiritual understanding so we can know from Scripture what to do or how to handle a situation.
Pray for lives that are really a testimony for Christ, which is to say, “walk worthy.” The life of every Christian is a testimony for or against Christ. Every day Christians betray Jesus by letting it be known that they are Christians when their lives don’t show it. If you are a Christian, show it by the way you live. Then you will be pleasing God (1 John 3:21-22).
Pray to be fruitful. Pray that we will display the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Pray that we will do works that contribute to God’s kingdom. Pray that we will lead the unsaved to Christ. Pray that we will be effective in our spiritual walk.
Pray to be continually growing as Christians, especially in the knowledge of God’s Word.
Pray for patience, long-suffering, and joy to really “stay with it” in living the Christian life, regardless of what happens.