"To the Saints and faithful brethren in Christ, which are at Colosse. We give thanks to God, praying always for you, since we heard of the love which ye have to all the saints." ?XCOL. i. 1-4,
"Con¬tinue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving, withal praying also for us."?XCOL.iv. 2, 3.
Prayer for all saints: let this be our first thought. It will need time, and thought, and love, to realize what is included in that simple expression. Think of your own neighborhood and the saints you know; think of your whole country, and praise God for all who are His saints; think of all Christian nations of the world, and the saints to be found in each of these; think of all the heathen nations and the saints of God to be found among them in ever-increasing numbers.
Think of all the different circumstances and conditions in which these are to be found, and all the very varying needs which call for God's grace and help. Think of many, oh, so many, who are God's saints, and yet through ignorance or sloth, through worldly-mindedness or an evil heart of unbelief, are walking in the dark, and bringing no honour to God. Think of so many who are in earnest, and yet conscious of a life of failure, with little or no power to please God or to bless man. And then think again of those who are to be found everywhere, in solitary places or in companies, whose one aim is to serve the Lord who bought them, and to be the light of those around them. Think of them especially as joining, often unconscious of their relation to the whole body of Christ, in pleading for the great promise of the Holy Spirit and the love and oneness of heart which He alone can give.
This is not the work of one day or one night. It needs a heart which will set itself from time to time to do serious thinking in regard to the state and the need of that body of Christ to which we belong. But when once we begin, we shall find what abundant reason there is for our persevering and yielding to God's Spirit, that He may fit us for the great and blessed work of day by day praying the twofold prayer, for the love of God and Christ to fill the hearts of His people, and for the power of the Holy Ghost to come down and accomplish God's work in this sinful world.
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