Colossians 1:9-14

It’s easy to become blasé and accept a good thing as good, and that’s that. But when Paul heard about what was going on in Colossae, and how the new Christians were growing in faith, love and hope, he continued to pray fervently (9): ‘’…we have not stopped praying for you and asking God…’’ What was happening in Colossae was great, and Paul delighted in it. But he did not rest on his laurels. He wanted the good to be even better. This is a mark of great leadership.

I ask myself a question here: ‘Do I pray with such passion for people I don’t even know?’ Knowledge brings responsibility (9). Does my praying for the growth of fellow-Christians in any way match this?

Paul’s prayer concerned:

  • A thorough knowledge of God’s will through the work of the Holy Spirit (9). He’s the One who imparts ‘’spiritual wisdom and understanding’’;
  • Knowing God’s will in order to do God’s will (10). When we do know His will we can then try to offer Him the kind of life He deserves and ‘’please him in every way’’. We are in a position to live ‘fruitful’ lives (John 15). Why should God reveal His will to us if we will not do it?
  • Growth in knowing God (10b). There should be nothing static about our Christian lives. ‘I’m in the biggest room in the world’ someone said, which is the ‘room for improvement.’ In the realm of the Spirit there are endless possibilities for growth and change;
  • Supernatural strengthening (11). In this case it’s not about signs and wonders. Paul asks for an anointing of power so that they may patiently endure on the Christian pathway. He knows that many fierce winds of adversity will blow against them, and he wants them to stay the course. It may not look spectacular, but there is something splendid about a believer who ‘keeps on keeping on’ no matter what comes their way. It takes Holy Spirit dynamism to put one foot in front of the other and keep going;
  • A life of joyful praise (11b, 12). It’s a life of thanksgiving, which has at it its heart the knowledge of salvation (12, 13), that we have been rescued by God through Jesus. We’ve been forgiven by Jesus; bought by the blood of Jesus, and we live under the reign of Jesus. These are the new realities that mark every Christian, and they are things to be deeply grateful for. We’ve been brought out of a dark existence into one that is bright with God’s glory.

The closing part of the prayer reads like this in The Message: ‘’We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul – not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us. God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we’re in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.’’