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How to Pray for Spiritual Growth
By Rick Warren

“Epaphras . . . always prays for you that you will grow to be spiritually mature.” Colossians 4:12 (NCV)

Paul wrote about a prayer warrior in Colossians 4:12: “Epaphras . . . always prays for you that you will grow to be spiritually mature” (NCV).

Epaphras is a hero to me. I don’t know about you, but prayer is hard for me. You’d think it would come naturally, but it doesn’t for me. So it impresses me even more that Epaphras had the discipline to always take time to pray for people.

But I also love the fact that he prayed for people’s spiritual growth. We usually pray for others’ needs—health and financial and relational—but we don’t spend nearly as much time praying for their spiritual growth. We don’t pray that God would change their character to be more like him. I think one of the reasons is that we don’t know how to pray this kind of prayer.

Thankfully, the Bible is filled with verses about how to pray for somebody to grow spiritually.

Pray they know God’s love

“May you be able to feel and understand . . . how long, how wide, how deep, and how high [God’s] love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves” (Ephesians 3:19 TLB).

Who do you know that may be struggling and needs God’s love? As they come to mind, say, “God, let them know today how much you really love them.”

Pray they learn to trust God

“I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace while you trust in him” (Romans 15:13 NCV).

Who doesn’t need more hope or joy or peace in their lives? Pray, “God, I know somebody who needs some hope. Help them to trust in you during this difficult time.”

Pray they receive God’s wisdom

“I pray that the glorious Father . . . would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17 GW).

Who do you know that’s facing a big decision? Ask God to give them his wisdom.

Pray they receive God’s strength

“I pray … he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit” (Ephesians 3:16 NIV).

Who do you know that feels overwhelmed by life or like they’re having to do everything on their own power? Pray this for them: “God, help them to know they’re not alone today. Give them strength and power.”

Let’s pray for each other today!

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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