The prayers of Paul for God’s people are a fascinating study. It’s interesting to observe the requests Paul makes. His prayers focused on hearts and minds being conformed to Christ.
D.A. Carson wrote an excellent book on Paul’s prayers, A Call to Spiritual Reformation, Priorities from Paul and His Prayers. In it, he says we should seek “to find out exactly what it is he asks God for on their [the people he prays for] behalf, and compare the results with what we normally ask for.”
Take these prayers to your next staff meeting and spend time praying them over your congregation. Better yet, pick some to memorize and pray over your people daily!
1. Paul thanked God for each one of his people
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you…” (Romans 1:8-10)
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus…” (1 Corinthians 1:4)
“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…” (Ephesians 1:16)
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy…” (Philippians 1:3-4)
“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…” (Colossians 1:3)
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers…” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3a)
“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right…” (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
“I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.” (2 Timothy 1:3)
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers…” (Philemon 1:4)
2. Paul prayed for their wisdom and knowledge
“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him…” (Ephesians 1:17)