“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.” Col 1:9
It’s been months since I spoke to my sister, and when I finally called, I found out she and her husband are both dealing with illnesses. Besides, they themselves, who are going through severe trial, there are a few other relatives of ours who are teetering between life and death. I also heard that my brother-in-law, my elder sister’s husband, has been in and out of ICU, dealing with complications with kidney issues. I suppose these things are not all that unusual since we are all aging, yet I should not be blinded to all those things, for unless I am aware of what’s going on among my own siblings, how in the world can I intercede on their behalf?
I have failed to pray for my sisters and brother and it pained my heart when I was reminded of Paul’s admonishment when he wrote: “Anyone one who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Furthermore, didn’t our Lord once say to his disciples: “For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
I have been trying to escape from my family and its influence since the days of my youth and whatever I did for my loved ones was performed out of duty. Therefore, intercession on their behalf hasn’t always been that consistent, since I don’t often think about them. To be brutally honest, I haven’t loved my siblings as I should have and, consequently, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time praying for them. Of all the people who I am related to, my sisters and brother may be needing my prayer more than anyone else. Yet I have been rather negligent in doing it. What’s the main reason behind it? I am either a hypocrite who claims to believe in something that I don’t really believe; or I don’t really love them and, by the Lord’s Jesus’ logic, neither do I love the Lord whom I have not seen.
This is by no means my usual self-degradation; I am merely stating the truth, ever though it’s rather painful to do so. What did the Colossians, many of whom Paul had probably never met before, have to do with him? Yet he wrote: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.” Paul obviously wasn’t sentimentalizing the whole thing, or just saying this to please the recipients of this letter; he was in fact doing what he was stating: he had never ceased praying for the Colossians.
Enough of self-blaming. Whether personal affection for my siblings is present or not, all I need to do is to never cease praying for them, both for their immediate needs and long-term salvation.