What if we had this attitude towards our brothers and sisters in the faith:
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:9-12 ESV)
Paul, in writing to the Colossians, says he prays this for them, without ceasing, and has done so ever since he heard of their faith. How different might our churches and friendships be if we ALL prayed this way, without ceasing, for each other. Imagine how much stronger we would be in battling our own vices and demons. Imagine how much better we might appear as a people to the world. Imagine how much less hypocrisy there might be in the Church if we all prayed earnestly for each other to walk in a manner worthy of The Lord, bearing good fruit.
After several months of being separated in an important Christian friendship, God has been gracious enough to work restoration and understanding. In the process of all of this, I have begun to see the importance of our prayerful attitude towards others, and the importance of being a solid support for those we know who share our faith.
Proverbs 27:17Proverbs 27:17
(NKJV) As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
ESV) Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. says that as iron sharpens iron, so one man is to sharpen another. But how often do we do this, and how often do we instead stab our siblings in the faith, with our iron swords of self-righteousness and bitterness. I know I have been guilty. And I know God is gracious with second chances. So I pray, for my friends, for myself, and for everyone who may read this, that we would earnestly pray for and support each other with the attitude Paul demonstrated in his letter to the Colossians.