Oct10FriOctober 10, 2014
by Rob Globke
"I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God."
Back when I played professionally, one of the worst feelings is watching game video the day after a bad loss. There is something about sitting in a room full of your teammates and watching replays of all the mistakes you’ve made which let them down the night before. It is embarrassing. It is humbling. Yet, it can be a good experience to see in what areas you might need some growth or improvement. I didn’t always like rewatching mistakes, but I knew it was something that could help me become a better hockey player.
I was thinking about these experiences with game tape from my career shortly after reading Paul’s awesome prayer found in Ephesians 1 the other day. And, like those uncomfortable meetings in the locker room, I was convicted by something that I don’t do all that well. I was reminded of how my prayer life could improve. Actually, a few things I could improve came jumping off the page at me! The good part of this “game tape” was there wasn’t a coach yelling at me at the other end. :-)
The two phrases that really punched me in the gut reading Paul’s prayer to the Ephesians were:
- “I pray for you constantly”
- “asking God….to give you spiritual wisdom and insight”
Now, I have read this passage many times, but for some reason those two phrases really caused me to stop and think, “DO I DO THIS IN MY PRAYER LIFE?” The answer, unfortunately, is often times no.comments powered by Disqus
I don’t pray as much as I should for the people who I care about. The busyness of life and the distraction of other things (like hockey, fantasy football, text messages, and so much more) absorb too much of my time and they pull me away from things I really should be doing. More important things, like PRAYER. As I thought about this, I wondered how many other people struggle with this same thing. Before digging into the answer, I am going to make the assumption that this is not just a common problem for a few select people. There are probably many out there who struggle with this very aspect of prayer. We are not praying constantly. Our life is not a constant prayer for those close to us or those we care about. It is something we need to improve, to work at.
If that’s not enough...Praying for More
Reading a few words later, I come to the realization that I also don’t pray often enough for the most important things in my life or other people’s lives. Praying for a friend to heal from a broken bone, to make the team they really want to make, about a struggle they are facing, or any other “request” are all good things to do. BUT, they are not the most important things. Too often we (me included) only pray for people’s immediate needs and forget the bigger picture. We stop short in our prayers, or don’t even get there at all. Paul reminds us of the truth that our prayers must not only be a plea to God for the physical and emotional needs of others, but a plea to the spiritual needs as well.
Going Beyond the Surface
When I read Ephesians 1:16-17, Paul leads me to a picture of a prayer life which goes beyond the surface. He challenges me to a life of constant prayer. He draws me to a desire to KNOW God. This is the most important thing. Don’t we want this for those we care about as well? For what good would it be if our friend, our son, our daughter, our spouse, our family member made that team we prayed about them making, but didn’t grow any closer to God? What good would it be if our prayers are not pleading for people to know the life that is found in God the Father through Jesus Christ. Everything in the universe finds it’s meaning, purpose and identity in that fact. Our prayers should reflect our longing for that to be true in the lives of those we care most about.
So, this is a challenge for myself first and foremost. Then, it is a challenge to you as well. Look at the “game tape” of your prayer life. Are you praying like you can be praying? Is your life one of constant prayer? Are you praying past the superficial?
Whether you are at the rink or at home. Whether you are praying for teammates or siblings. Whether you are doing a great job right now or not…….PRAY CONSTANTLY THAT OTHERS WOULD GROW IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD.