I love the rain. Sometimes. Not when I have to be out in it, dashing from house to car to office, soaking my feet in puddles and risking my painstakingly wrought “hair do” on the way. But I love it on days like today, when I have the time to simply sit and listen to the gentle rhythm of drops hitting the ground, watching it slowly drench the wood on my deck as I gaze out through the patio door from the comfy station of my reclining chair. The sound of it brings a calm to my mind and spirit.
For some reason, I feel the fact that it is raining somehow gives me permission to take the time to sit and stare and think. Moments like these are rare in this crazy-busy world. Moments like these are a wonderful time to read the Bible. Not racing through it, with my mind on the next thing on my to-do list. But dwelling on it, drinking it in, just as the ground drinks in the soft summer rain. God’s word is so rich. He has given us much to be encouraged by, much to learn from, much to grow by.
This morning I pulled out my NASB/Amplified Parallel Bible. Reading from the first chapter of Colossians, I sank into the preciousness of Paul’s opening words in his letter to the believers at Colossae. The Amplified version stretches his heartfelt words into an even more encouraging prayer.
So often I find myself, in my prayers for others, reverting to the standard “bless them Lord” type of offering. But in these verses I find some much richer, and oh so much more edifying, requests. So I wanted to put them down here. I pray them for you, whoever you are, if you are a brother or sister in the Lord, and you read this entry. (Can we pray in advance like that??? And could you pray them for me please?)
"PAUL, AN apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the will of God, and Timothy [our] brother,
To the saints (the consecrated people of God) and believing and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace (spiritual favor and blessing) to you and [heart] peace from God our Father.
We continually give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), as we are praying for you,
For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus (the leaning of your entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] and of the love which you [have and show] for all the saints (God's consecrated ones),
Because of the hope [of experiencing what is] laid up (reserved and waiting) for you in heaven. Of this [hope] you heard in the past in the message of the truth of the Gospel,
Which has come to you. Indeed, in the whole world [that Gospel] is bearing fruit and still is growing [by its own inherent power], even as it has done among yourselves ever since the day you first heard and came to know and understand the grace of God in truth. [You came to know the grace or undeserved favor of God in reality, deeply and clearly and thoroughly, becoming accurately and intimately acquainted with it.]
You so learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ in our stead and as our representative and yours.
Also he has informed us of your love in the [Holy] Spirit.
For this reason we also, from the day we heard of it, have not ceased to pray and make [special] request for you, [asking] that you may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things--
That you may walk (live and conduct yourselves) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by the knowledge of God [with fuller, deeper, and clearer insight, acquaintance, and recognition].
[We pray] that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy,
Giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified and made us fit to share the portion which is the inheritance of the saints (God's holy people) in the Light."
(Colossians 1:1-12, Amplified Bible)