The Secret to Powerful Prayer

There are some things we can only learn by doing.

For instance, if we want to learn how to ride a bike . . .

We can watch someone ride a bike.
We can read a list of instructions on how to ride a bike.
We can even listen to someone explain to us how to ride a bike.

But we won’t actually learn how to ride a bike until we climb onto the seat and start peddling – for ourselves.

The same is true for a lot of things.

Writing. Cooking. Swimming.

I also think the same is true for prayer.

I spent all of last year studying the topic of prayer. With a group of very genuine women, I completed a “workbook” type of study. We read about prayer. We talked about prayer. Then we read some more and talked some more. All about prayer. We enjoyed the fellowship we shared and felt blessed by our time together.

But I learned something this week about prayer – something that never occurred to me as I plowed through a year-long study on prayer.

As I was reading Paul’s prayer for the people of Colossae, it struck me. He loved those people! He was crazy about them! He cared so much for them that he couldn’t help but pray for them.

For Paul, prayer was a natural outpouring of his passion for people!

This sounds so simplistic.

Yet, passion isn’t something that can be studied in a book.

In Colossians 1:3, Paul says:

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
when we pray for you.”

When Paul wrote this letter to the church at Colossae, he had never met them personally. He had only heard about them from their pastor, Epaphras.

This means that Paul was praying for people he had never met!

Oh, how this convicts!

So Paul’s words are keeping me awake these days. He prayed. A lot. And for people he didn’t even know. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be more like Paul when it comes to prayer.

The secret to powerful prayer isn’t found in a set of instructions or in a book. (And I happen to think rather highly of books in general.) It is found in the heart.

Passion for people is the secret to powerful prayer.

It was Christ’s passion for people that He gave his life.

It was Paul’s passion for people to know Christ that He prayed – always, without ceasing.

My prayer for today . . .

Lord, fill my heart with a most fervent passion for the people You have created . . . the people You have placed in my life . . . the people You long to reach. May I see them through Your eyes. May I speak to them with Your words. May I reach them with Your love.

What have you learned about prayer?


I invite you to join me on this journey with Epaphras as we study and learn the words of Paul to the church in Colossae. Click HERE to read PART ONE of this series on Colossians.


Gundry, Robert. A Survey of the New Testament: Fourth Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Colossians and Philemon. Chicago: Moody Press, 1992.

Phillips, John. Exploring Colossians and Philemon: An Expository Commentary. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2002.


2 thoughts on “The Secret to Powerful Prayer

  1. You are speaking my heart here! {and I am convicted also to have a deeper passion for pursuing God's heart} Psalm 69:10 “Zeal for your house has consumed me…”

    The Psalm is actually a prayer for the Psalmist (and a cry of Jesus' heart in His suffering) but the idea of being consumed by passion for God's house is what you are expressing in your post. Passionately pursuing God's will in transforming His people and building His kingdom.

    Prayer is the foundation of every revival/movement of the Holy Spirit. May we bend the knee and surrender our lives for the greater pursuit. 🙂
    Love, Kathy

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