Dear Reader: Last night I was reading Colossians and Paul started out the letter as he always begins a letter by giving thanks for the congregation to which he was writing. This is what he wrote:
In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you. Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God. This you learned from Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf, and he has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’swill in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfullygiving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
As I was reading it struck me, that I had not yet given thanks for you, nor had I prayed for you. Then and there I put down my Bible and I prayed giving thanks for you, for the encouragement you give me, and for the sheer pleasure and joy that comes from writing what I hope might inspire you.
Over these past few months I have gathered a loyal following, from 3 countries and a smattering of people from around the world who stop by from time to time. Whether you read this blog every day, or just once in a while, or if today is your first time, my prayer for you is that the Father of all mercies will fill you with joy, wisdom, peace and understanding, and walk with you through all eternity supplying all your needs and making you strong in the faith that flowed through Jesus.
Thank you so much for giving me the encouragement to write and work out my relationship with God in your company. Explaining this prayer walk or stumble or run (depending on the day) has been humbling and invigorating. I am amazed at the depth of intimacy and honesty that I have developed as we have grown together. Initially I thought I would teach what I knew and was learning about prayer and what has developed has been a deep sharing of me. I have learned much more than I anticipated, and I pray that you have been inspired as well.
Through all of this I am, of course, most grateful to God, who daily nudges, nurtures and guides me.
Peace to you all. Thank you and may God richly bless you.