Earlier this week our team gathered to read the Holy Scriptures and pray. This summer we're studying the book of Colossians together. As we were reading the first chapter, we suddenly found ourselves praying the words Paul wrote in verses 9-13. We took turns reading all five verses aloud, inserting the names of some of our middle and high school friends.
It sounded something like this.
"Father God, since the day we heard about Alex, we have not stopped praying for him. We continually ask you to fill Alex with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that Alex may live a life worthy of the Lord and please You in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, and being strengthened with all power according to Your glorious might so that Alex may have great endurance and patience, and give joyful thanks to You, the Father. You Father are the One who has qualified Alex to share in the inheritance of Your holy people in the kingdom of light. You have rescued Alex from the dominion of darkness and brought Alex into the kingdom of your Son, whom You love, the One in whom Alex has found redemption and the forgiveness of his sins. Thank you, Father God! Amen."
As I listened to the different people on our team pray these ancient words for specific kids, the Lord stirred my heart. The prayers felt powerful, fresh and alive. I found myself crying tears of hope that these words would become true for our friends who didn't believe. And then there were tears of joy over the kids who we've seen the Lord already transforming.
We then wrote notes to the kids we prayed for. We told them that these were the exact words we used and hand wrote the verses on cards. We prayed over them, addressed them, and mailed them out with faith that the Lord might use these ancient words to speak life and truth over our teenage friends.
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.