Paul’s letter to the Colossians gives us great insight into how we should pray for Christians. While I was reading Colossians today, some verses stood out to me about how to pray for other Christians and how to pray for those who are not Christian. 

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you.

Colossians 1:3 (NIV)

When we pray for others, we should thank God for them. Not just those in the family of Believers but everyone. Even if they’ve hurt you or otherwise caused you pain. God created them, just as he did you. Think about it, if you can’t thank God for your enemies, are you sincere in your prayers for them? 

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.

Colossians 1:9-11 (NIV)

Verses 9-11 here give some great things to pray for when praying for someone. Although Paul is talking about praying for the Colossians, asking God to fill anyone with the knowledge of his will can lead to salvation. This is God’s desire, as evidenced by these verses from 1 Timothy.

This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 (NIV)

When we pray for someone, especially someone who isn’t saved, we ought to pray first for their salvation. It surprises me when people in my prayer group ask us to pray for non-Christians to be healed of this thing, for this person to be blessed, or for this or that situation to work out, and the person we’re praying for isn’t saved! 

Consider this. If God hears and answers the prayers of the righteous, why would you pray for someone who isn’t saved to just be healed from that cancer? Our guide here should be verses like this one from Matthew.

If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.

Matthew 18:8 (NIV)

I’m not saying to not pray for healing. However, let’s say you pray for them to be saved, and then they are saved. If they die of that cancer or don’t die of it, they will live an eternity with Christ in heaven instead of broiling in hell for eternity. I have seen too many people who aren’t saved receive the blessings of God because someone prayed for them, and they either don’t acknowledge that it was God who did it or they forget that it was God who did it. This is why, when we receive that good report of what God did for them, we make sure they know it was God who did it. This leads to me to this verse.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins.

Colossians 2:13 (NIV)

When someone is living a “lifestyle” that reflects sin, be it homosexual, drug or alcohol abuse, fornication, etc., their sin is potentially more “public” than other sins might be. However, when we pray for the fornicator, do we pray “harder” for them? Do we think that the person living a homosexual lifestyle is any “harder” to save than the person who is not? Do we, as mere humans, dare to classify some sins as “worse” than others? Thereby justifying our sin? Even worse, do we think it might be more difficult for God to save “them” than for him to save us? Such thinking is self-righteous and, unfortunately, quite natural for us. However, Colossians 2:13 reminds us that we were all dead in our sins before we were saved. Regardless of what those sins were. 

Therefore, as a model for praying for others, we ought to thank God for them, and if they’re not Christians, we ask for them to be saved. Even if they are Christian, we can thank God for their salvation and, as a guideline, use verses like Colossians 1:9-11. Finally, we should never think that anything is too hard for God because nothing is too hard. If God saved me, then he can save you too. 

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.