If you want to know what’s important to people, listen to them talk. As Jesus said in Mt 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Most people’s heart is filled with, and thus their conversation centers around…
The economy… politics… work situations… college athletics (Presently it’s football)… family dynamics of education, kids athletics, marriage, etc… the latest “news” of what’s hot in the community we live… the obituaries… “My aching back… knee… hip…”
I’m not saying we shouldn’t ever talk about those things… but when was the last time you heard someone express concern over: Their family’s spiritual state? Their walk with God? Their co-worker’s relationship to Christ? Their desire to glorify God through their career?
Consider what concerned Paul the most. And then consider that these things really should also greatly concern us for ourselves and those we love. When these things concern us, we will both talk to others and God about them. Here’s a short list of the things that should concern us… that we talk about with each other… and lift up in prayer. The Scripture references follow
A) Wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus. B) Heart enlightenment. C) The hope of being called. D) The immeasurable power for believers. E) Inner strength from the Spirit. F) Indwelling faith. G) Community comprehension of Christ’s love. H) Filled with the fullness of God. I) Know God’s will. J) Have spiritual wisdom and understanding. K) Living worthy of the Lord. L) Pleasing God. M) Bearing fruity. N) Increasing in the knowledge of God.
When Paul prayed… those things were what he focused on. It wasn’t for their physical well being… the political climate… their job promotion… or any of the things we ususally pray about. Hmmm… Consider these things my brother and sisters in Christ.
Eph 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe…
Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Col 1:9 Asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.