We are looking at prominent themes in the epistle to the Colossians. And this morning we want to once again notice the theme of prayer in Chapter 1 (before we move on to Chapter 2). We’ve already seen Paul’s labor in prayer for these believers, but something else in his prayer has gotten my attention. Let’s read over verses 9-14 once again:
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.
Here’s what strikes me: Paul is not quietly and silently lifting these believers up before the Lord. His prayer is public and he sends his prayer to the Colossians in a letter! A letter which (I believe) Paul knew would become holy Scripture, read by followers of Jesus forever! Others can see and read what Paul’s concerns are for these Christians. The Colossians, no doubt, would read and re-read his prayer over and over again. They would be reminded of his longing that they would be “filled with the knowledge of God’s will,” that they would “live a life worthy of the Lord,” that they would seek to “please him in every way,” etc.
Do I pray that way for anyone? Or do I just pray that they will get a job, grow strong in their marriage, have their health restored, etc? And IF I prayed for someone else as Paul did here, would I write that down and give it to them? Or do I spend most of my prayer time praying for myself and a pony?