Reading: Ephesians 1: 15-23
Verse 18: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened.
Today’s passage is about how Paul prays for others. He is praying for a group of believers that he has heard of. I think we all pray for a group of people. While I most regularly pray for family and friends, I do add people to my daily prayers that I hear about at church. At times, events in the community or in our wider world will draw my heart to be in prayer for those people or that situation. So, like Paul, we too pray for people we do not know. It is part of our role in the fellowship of all believers to pray for one another. This all leads me to think about prayer.
The core of our daily prayer life focuses on the people and events that are close to our hearts. Early each morning I pray for my extended family by name, for those I know battling cancer and illness, for those I know who have experienced recent loss, and for our church. It is a pretty standard list. It changes from time to time but remains pretty constant. As I go for a walk, I also pray. I pray for each pastor and their churches in our area. I pray for our leaders – national, state, and local. I pray for our police, highway patrol, EMTs, and firefighters and those who lead them. I pray for the jail, both the inmates and the workers, as well as for the judicial staff across the street. It is good to have a pattern of prayer to follow. It is good to have a time set aside to pray. It is good to have a regular list of folks to pray for. It is good to be in prayer. What and whom do you pray for each and every day?
Two other important areas of prayer that we need to consider are thanksgiving and confession. It is important to take time each day to reflect on our blessings and to name them before God. It acknowledges God as our provider and it reminds us of our need for His provision. It helps us to be humble. Another important area of prayer is our confession of sin. We are sinful creatures so we are not usually in short supply of confessional material. It is so important to daily bow before our Maker, to confess our sins, to seek His forgiveness, and to pledge repentance. This act of prayer helps us stay in a right relationship with God. How well do you offer thanks and practice confession?
Lord, may we ever bring our praise, our petitions, our thanksgiving, and our confessions to you. You are faithful. May we be as well. Amen.