“Please be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, we are simply asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so you can acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works.”
“We concentrate on this, and pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work.”
“We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the ‘long haul”—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the “glory-strength” God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable, and then spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. ”
This is a paraphrase that I made of Colossians 1:9-12, using the Message Bible. This is one of those “scripture” prayers, often found in the Psalms, but also in the Epistles. It does seem as Paul actually prayed as he wrote. This prayer is indeed evidence of this. It has the wonderful side effect of praying while doing something else, and what that might look like, especially when done discreetly and appropriately.
“Tensile” is a most interesting word, and concept. It has the idea of being stretched without being torn apart. A perfect word to describe intercessory prayer.
Do we really pray enough? It isn’t a question of “volume” but of quality, and precision. When I am focused and begin to be directed to a certain person, or a very idea— I start to pray, focused and accurate. But in the “quantity” aspect. I do admit I often falter and fumble this.
The content of this man’s prayer was fabulous, and incredibly strong. It does seem that it covers quite a few bases. We can draw out so much. And yet I keep coming back to the manner in which Paul prayed. I wonder if we could be taught to do the same?
Somehow we start praying in this same level. By faith we can weave that tensile strength into hearts of those we love, and understand the hearts of our brothers, or sisters.