The Power of Paul’s Prayers

By Kristin Overman

A few years ago I was doing a study on Colossians and came across this prayer that Paul prayed for the believers,

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. Colossians 1:9-12

Paul’s prayer was so powerful. It really seemed like he was fighting a battle with his prayer. Suddenly I felt that my prayers were missing that power. So many times I prayed for wisdom, health, safety, money, etc. My prayers were more about earthly needs than the needs for spiritual battle.

Don’t misunderstand me; I know God cares for our every need no matter how small. We pray for lost toys, for kids to sleep and use the potty in our house. I know God truly cares about those things. He wants us to rely on Him for our earthly needs but also for our spiritual battles. Many times I forget that we are in a constant spiritual battle.

I decided to look not only at Colossians but all of Paul’s letters and see what he prayed for. In doing so, I noticed three things in Paul’s prayers. He prayed for the believer’s walk, for their witness, and for God’s work in them. He did not pray that they would change. Here are just a few of the things I found.

Paul prayed that they would…

Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
Please Him in all respects
Bear fruit in every good work
Increase in the knowledge of God
Attain all steadfastness and patience
Joyously give thanks to the Father for their inheritance
Speak forth the mystery of Christ

He prayed that God would…

Make it clear how they ought to speak
Give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him
Count them worthy of their calling
Fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power in order that the name of Jesus may be glorified in them and them in Him

I also noticed how he prayed. He used words like always, constantly, devoted, not ceasing, keeping alert, thankful and joyful. In other words, prayer should be a consistent discipline, done with a spirit of joy and thanksgiving.

I pray you can use this list of prayers for yourself, your children and other believers, etc. Fighting our spiritual battle could be so much more effective if we prayed like this for one another.