For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.Colossians 1:9-12 NKJV
This is one of the great prayers in the New Testament. Paul was praying for Christians of whom he has heard good reports. This is not a prayer for backsliders or lukewarm pew-sitters. He says he has heard of their faith and of their love for the saints, and that the Word is bearing fruit among them.(Vv. 3-8) For this reason, he prays. We need to remember to pray for those who love the Lord and are living for Him. This prayer shows us things we alll need when we’re doing the Lord’s business:
- Be full and overflowing with knowledge of His will. We want to be full of the will of God, no room for any distractions; so full of knowledge that it overflows to the world around us. Our desire to follow God is one place where “obsession” might be a positive.
- Wisdom and spiritual understanding to walk out that will. Just having knowledge is insufficient. We need wisdom as to how to apply it. We also need to understand the bigger picture of how our part of God’s will fits with others to fulfill the totality of His plan. We are part of something big.
- Increase in the intimate knowledge of God. We don’t just need to know God’s will, we need to know Him. Part of the growth of believers is an increasingly intimate fellowship with the Father. Christianity is so much more than a set of rules!
- Strength in the inner man. Following God, doing His will, is not designed to be easy. In fact, it can be downright dangerous and difficult. The strength needed to push forward when our flesh and our friends are all saying, “Stop!” has to come from a supernatural infusion of strength.
- Confidence that we are qualified by the Father. For most honest people, it’s difficult to believe that the holy God of the universe would allow them to be part of His family and His plan in the earth. We are painfully aware of our own frailties and failures. We need to know that it is the Father who has qualified us for this endeavor, not ourselves. We can boldly stand before Him and before men in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
This Sunday, take time to do 2 things. First, pray this prayer for yourself. Put your name in there and ask God to do it. Second, think of the faithful, loving people in your church. Pick one or two and pray this prayer for them. Trust me, they need it.