Sometimes I seem to focus so much of my prayer energy on people who are hurting and struggling that I almost forget to pray for people who are doing well. Doubts, discouragement, discord, fear, depression, besetting sins—there’s enough brokenness around me that there hardly seems time to pray for people who aren’t in in deep pain.
But today the Holy Spirit re-directed my focus. I was reading in 2 Thessalonians and verses 11 and 12 seemed to pop off the page:
“We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul prayed this wonderful prayer for people who, in spite of persecution and trials, were growing in their faith and increasing in their love. They were already doing exceptionally well. So Paul prayed that they would do even better.
The Holy Spirit directed my thoughts to some friends of mine who are doing great spiritually. Their marriage is strong, their kids are doing well, they are fruitful in their service for the Lord. If you were to ask them for prayer requests, they would probably say, “Can’t think of anything—we’re doing fine. How can we pray for you?”
But in spite of them not seeming to need anything, I realized the Holy Spirit was inviting me to pray for them, using Paul’s model. I especially liked praying the part that asked God to fulfil every good purpose of theirs and every act prompted by their faith. People who are strong spiritually have lots of “good purposes” and lots of “acts prompted by faith.” If God were to bring all of those to fruition—Wow! That would be a spiritual jackpot! So I prayed that for my friends.
It was a joyful conversation with God. It was a lot of fun to ask Him to bless people who already are glorifying God and exhibiting His grace. It felt extravagant and luxurious, and is definitely something I want to keep on doing.
Do you pray for people who are doing well? What is that like for you? And what have you seen God do?