It is easy for Christians to focus so much on personal salvation that we forget about surrounding society’s need for the salt and light of the gospel. It, too, needs transformation by Christ, and we, His people, are the primary means by which He achieves that. It’s also easy for us to forget that Christ came not only to save individuals from our sins, and not only to transform societies, but even to save the creation itself from the curse God pronounced on it because of Adam’s sin (Genesis 3:17–18). The Apostle Paul clearly teaches this aspect of Christ’s saving work in his prayer in Colossians 1:9–20:
… from the day we heard [of your faith], 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, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
Here is a prayer based on that passage that we hope you’ll join us in offering up before God the Father:
Heavenly Father, we confess that we pray far too little for our brothers and sisters in Christ, even less for our surrounding society, and yet less for the creation You lovingly made and righteously cursed because of our sin. Yet Christ came “to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross,” and so clearly we ought to pray for these things. So we ask You to make us more faithful in praying for the lost, for the church, for our surrounding society, and for the creation itself. May we Your people walk in obedience to Your commandments, empowered by Your Holy Spirit to do what we, in our flesh, cannot do. Thank You for delivering us from the domain of darkness into the inheritance of Christ, the Light of the world. Thank You for the forgiveness of our sins. And thank You that Christ remains the firstborn—the preeminent One—over all creation. We rejoice to remember that, since He created all things in heaven and on earth for Himself, and He holds all things together, and He is the head of the body, the church, and the firstborn from the dead, He is preeminent in all things and reconciling all things in heaven and on earth to Himself. Forgive us for our abuse and neglect of Your creation, and turn us into faithful, loving stewards who, working together with others, all of us made in Your image to be creative and productive as You are, to enhance the fruitfulness, the beauty, and the safety of the earth, to Your glory and to the benefit of our neighbors. We ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.