I was asking Paul the other day how to pray for other people. “What do I ask God for on behalf of other people?”

He didn’t answer. Not exactly. But he was talking to a group of people that he was praying for. And he told them what he was asking; “I asking God to give you an awareness of his will.”

I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean, “I’m asking God to tell you what job to take.”
Or where to move or what major to take.

I’m pretty sure that he was asking God to help them understand how many people God loves. Or how many of the aching hearts God is aware of. Or how many people God is fasting me to love. Or how many people I have permission to hate and revile and despise and mock.

It’s asking God to help the people I love increasingly understand the height and depth and breadth of God’s love for them. And knowing that love, be able to find peace and identity and power and courage and comfort.

It’s different than asking God for healing. Because that’s not a guarantee, at least not the way we usually want it. I know that all too well from the conversations I have every day. And so either I can keep asking for the thing that may not happen, or I can ask for the understanding that I know can happen.

“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,”‭ ‭Colossians‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬.