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“Now may the God of peace [who is the author and the giver of peace], who brought back from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (the new covenant), strengthen (complete, perfect) [and] make you what you ought to be [and] equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will, [while He Himself] works in you [and] accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah), to whom be the glory forever and ever (into the ages of the ages).  Amen (so be it).” (Hebrews 13:20-21; Amplified)

You are leaving church on Sunday morning, and a friend says, “Pray for me this week.”  “I will,” you promise.  And then you begin to wonder, “what should I pray for him?”  But he’s already in his car, and it’s too late to ask.

Or you are running some errands and God impresses upon your heart an acquaintance that you really don’t know very well.  “I should pray for her,” you think, “but I don’t know what to pray for her.”

In these two verses that serve as a benediction to the book of Hebrews, we find an answer.  Don’t read over them too quickly.  They are pregnant with meaning and instruction.

Do you want to be effective in your prayers for others?  Then pray this:

Pray that they will know and experience the surpassing peace of God.  He made peace and He gives peace.  He provides peace through Christ who forgives and shepherds us, and through His eternal promises.  Yet too many of us are anxious and distracted, unaware of the power that is available in God’s peace.

Pray that they will be strengthened by God.  Strengthened in what way?  Strengthened spiritually to that point that their faith is mature.  The Amplified says it well — that God would “make you what you ought to be.”  And that being matured, they would also find themselves equipped and prepared to be obedient to God.

Pray that God would find in them pliable hearts, that they would desire to follow Him and that they would resist the temptation to quench the work of the Holy Spirit within them.

Pray that God would be glorified in them, that as others look at them, that they will see the reality of Jesus Christ transforming them into the image of God (1 Jn. 3:2-3).

Father, may our hearts know today the reality of the peace that you provide through Christ — peace that not only comes through forgiveness, but also through sweet fellowship.  May we know the power of your strength making us all that we can be in Christ.  May you find our hearts to be soft and open to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  And may others see Christ in and through us.  According to the power, work and name of Christ we pray these things.  Amen.