Praying For the Saints
Pastor Steve Ellison
Colossians 1:9-12 is one of the four “Prison Prayers of Paul”. The other three are found in Ephesians 1, Ephesians 3, and Philippians 1. They are so named because Paul wrote them while he was in Roman custody. It is quite likely that he was chained to a Roman guard while he wrote. Studying these prayers can be a very beneficial exercise. Modeling your prayers after them will make your prayer life more exciting and more effective. It will also likely make you less popular at prayer meetings because your prayers will make people uncomfortable. Rather than praying for health, wealth, and comfort, you will instead be praying for real spiritual change in the hearts and minds of those you are praying for. This change is usually not comfortable and most people would rather that you pray for their comfort. Instead of praying for things that can be seen or touched, Paul prayed for sanctification, conformity to Christ, increasing holiness.
Paul begins this prayer in verse 9 but it is unclear where the prayer ends. He simply bursts into praise and worship of the Lord Jesus Christ. That ought to be how all prayer ends. Verse 9 begins with Paul telling us that the previous verses give the reason for his prayer. Verses 4-8 are a list of marvelous qualities of the people in the Colossian church. Paul brags on their faith, their love, their ever increasing fruit, their understanding of grace and truth, etc. This is a reminder to not forget to pray for those you believe are the strongest of Christians. Do not neglect to pray for them. They need to be prayed for as much as the lost and backslidden.
Colossians 1:9-12 states, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.” (NASU) Paul is asking that these strong Christians will be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. This seems to be a quantum leap beyond simply knowing God’s will. Paul is asking that these Colossians will be overflowing with the will of God so that it will spill over onto others. He is also asking that they would be controlled by the will of God. Paul asks that the Colossians would come to truly know God in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Again that is a quantum leap beyond simply knowing about God. The Christian life is knowing God, not knowing about God. Paul’s next request is impossible to wrap your mind around. He prays that God will cause the Colossians to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. Walking in a manner worthy of the Lord is a tall order indeed. In fact, it is impossible to see the top of that order. Paul is not about to ease up on his requests of the Lord; next he prayed that the Colossians would please God in all respects. I am quite sure that I do not please God in very many respects; I cannot imagine what it would be like to please God in all respects. Praying these things will make your prayers more exciting and more effective. ..……..…..firstname.lastname@example.org