Praying with Power (Colossians 1:9-14)
In these next few weeks we will continue studying the book of Colossians from the Bible. Colossians is a letter written by Saint Paul to the Colossian Church. The new Christians in the Colossian church were excited about their new faith and were eager to follow Christ.
But then, false teachers (wolves in sheep’s clothing) found their way into the Colossian Church and started teaching lies and heresies. These false teachers were teaching that Jesus Christ was just a great man and a nice example, but not the Son of God and our Savior. The new Christians in Colossae were becoming confused about their faith in Christ. And a concerned Paul, who is in prison at the time, doesn’t stop praying for the Colossians, as well as writing them this letter. Today we will read more of Paul’s letter to the Colossian Church. Here it is: (Colossians 1:9-14)
“Because of this, since the day we heard about you, we have continued praying for you. Asking God that you will know fully what He wants. We pray that you will also have great wisdom and understanding in spiritual things, so that you will live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord in every way.
We pray that you will produce fruit in every good work and grow in the knowledge of God. And that God will strengthen you with His own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient.
And we pray that you will joyfully give thanks to the Father who has made you able to have a share in all that He has prepared for His people in the kingdom of light. God has freed us from the power of darkness, and He brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son. The Son paid for our sins, and in Him we have forgiveness.” (Colossians 1:9-14)
Paul tells the Colossian brothers and sisters that he and other Christians are constantly praying for them. And then he tells the Colossians the specific things he is praying for them. Paul’s prayers for others are much different than mine. Paul’s prayers are very specific. How would you describe your prayers for others?
Paul prays here for five specific things for these new Colossian Christians. (1) First Paul asks God for the Colossians to be able to know fully what God wants. Do we know what God wants for our lives? The Bible tells us how we are to live, and God promises to guide us in the ways that we should go. We can pray and wait on the Lord for our answers. And (2) second, Paul asks God to give the Colossians wisdom and understanding in spiritual things. He adds that if they have wisdom and understanding in spiritual things then they will live the kind of life that honors and pleases the Lord.
Then (3) third, Paul asks that God produce “fruit” in the lives of these new Christians. He prays for good work for them and God given knowledge of how to do good work. The “fruit” that Scripture says the Holy Spirit gives us is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
And (4) fourth, Paul prays that God will strengthen this new little church in His own power so that they will not give up when troubles come. Do we forget that God promises to give us strength to make it through our troubles? And (5) fifth, Paul prays that these new Christians will joyfully give thanks to God and be joyful and thankful people. Are we a joyful and thankful people? Is someone praying for you and your spiritual growth? And are you praying for someone?
Our heavenly Father has ordained that our prayers play a key role in the building of His kingdom! There are some basic guidelines in the New Testament for how to pray. We are commanded to pray unselfishly and with a pure heart. (James 4:3) We are to Pray relentlessly. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We are to pray believing that God will work. (Mark 11:24) We are to pray according to God’s will. (John 15:7) And we are to pray being willing to surrender to God’s will in the matter. (Luke 22:42)
In the last verses (Colossians 1:12b-14) that we are studying today, Paul tells the Colossians that God has given them a share in all that He has prepared for His people in the kingdom of light. We cannot imagine all that this Scripture passage means. And then in the next verses God has “delivered us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His dear Son. The Son paid for our sins, and in Him we have forgiveness of sin.”
The greatest problem we humans have is sin – a problem that can never be solved by a philosopher or a great religious teacher. Sinners need a Savior. And these verses in Colossians 1:12b-14 give us a vivid picture of four saving actions of Jesus Christ our Savior. (1) He frees us from the powers of darkness, and (2) brings us into the kingdom of light. (3) Christ, the Son redeems us and (4) He forgives us. Everything we will ever need or want is in Him! It doesn’t get any better than that!
Some of the ideas in this blog were taken from Max Lucado’s book, “Colossians and Philemon” and also the “Wiersbe Bible Study Series.”