Praying for Spiritual Harmony
“God, bless me with _________.” “God, help me do _________.” “God, give me _________.” When you pray, how do you fill in these blanks? What if prayer is meant for more than getting God’s attention about the things we’re personally facing? What if prayer is the way God gets our attention about what’s on his heart?
When the apostle Paul prayed, he had Jesus’ heart guiding his words. As an example for us, he shared prayers in his letters about Christ’s number one concern: the church. Over the next four weekends, we’ll be looking at Paul’s prayers from the heart. We’ll see his concern about the growth of spiritual harmony (Aug. 11), spiritual strength (Aug. 18), spiritual maturity (Aug. 25), and spiritual wisdom (Sept. 1) in God’s people. We need these characteristics just as much as anything else we tend to ask God for. As we continue together as a church, we want to have our prayer life informed and inspired by these concerns that God placed deeply on Paul’s heart.
I’m privileged to start this series with his prayer for spiritual harmony from Romans 15:5-7. Paul led the first Christians into an uncommon community built with people who had vastly different spiritual histories and cultural values. They all had to learn how to be holy together as one people, just as we—with our own diverse mix of backgrounds, traditions, perspectives, customs, and expectations—must do now. As we look at this passage, we’ll find direction for how we can pray and keep working on how we get along.