A Prayer to Grow Into
Lord, teach me to pray in a way consistent with maturity.
Read COLOSSIANS 1:1–14
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
What are our expectations of the Christian life? Our prayers often give the game away. As we enter God’s presence today, let us seek to make Paul’s prayer our own.
It has been well said that the prayers of the Bible are like the big clothes that parents buy for their children to grow into. When I entered fifth grade, my parents bought me a blazer, and it wasn’t until a year or so later that my friends realized I had hands! Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is exactly this—a hugely expansive prayer which we can use for ourselves and our fellow believers.
Paul has never met the Colossians, yet he prays for them fervently (9), praying passionately that they would know God better. This is a model prayer in its emphasis on both belief and behavior and on knowledge and obedience. First, he asks that we might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will (9). This is followed by the phrase “in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,” implying that knowing God and living according to his purpose are not simply accumulating doctrinal information but also involve spiritual wisdom. This is developed through the second theme—“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord” (10). Paul uses the image of fruitfulness as he describes both the fantastic advance of the Gospel (6) and the hoped-for evidence of godly living among the Colossians (10)—the result of his prayer for both belief and behavior.
Very often our prayers revolve around our health, our work concern or our family, all of which matter. Paul’s prayer, however, is one we must grow into—a highly profitable prayer for increased knowledge and committed obedience. Paul longs for the Colossians to know God and live a life pleasing to him—a great prayer for ourselves and our fellow believers.
As you read the passage, pray the Word, using the expressions of thanksgiving and intercession for your own life and for fellow believers known to you.
Lord, fill me with the knowledge of Your will so that I may serve You more uprightly as I endeavor to walk worthy of my calling.