“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will … so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord … being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”
My husband, Alex, and I have had a marathon of both patience and endurance over the last two months. Since our very premature daughter was born in early January, we have spent 58 of her first 63 days on the planet in hospital. Today, I sit on the 15th floor of Texas Children’s Hospital to write this–looking out over the city that has become our home–and there is an opportunity to reflect on the ways God has changed me since Poppy’s arrival, and growing my patience is a key area of that gift!
As I read these verses, I’m reminded of two things:
Firstly, as my old pastor, Mike Pilavachi, used to say, "When you want to grow in patience, God doesn’t just gift you divine patience; He gives you an opportunity to practice patience." So, when we’re praying for opportunities to grow, so often the way it happens is we have a circumstance that requires us to flex our spiritual muscles, and we discover that, in prayer and aided by the Holy Spirit, we’re stronger, braver or more resilient than we assumed.
Yet today, I noticed something else in this Colossians reading: the voice of the writer. Yes, to live a life worthy of the Lord, we are strengthened by hHs power, but there’s something else too. This verse isn’t the voice of a disciple asking for patience in prayer. It’s not a teaching reminder that we should ask for prayer. It is the prayer of another person asking for the blessing of patience and endurance for people they love. So often, we are sustained by the prayers of others, sometimes known to us, but often unknown: parents, grandparents, godparents, friends, pastors and priests all holding us in prayer at different points in our lives. Although the last months have been a time of great blessing, I know I would and could not have endured them so well without the knowledge that many faithful people were praying for us.
So, how can you pray for patience today?
Where do you need opportunities to flex your spiritual muscles?
Or who is struggling that you can bring before the Lord to ask for the gift of patience and endurance, that they might be renewed to see the will of God at work in their lives?