And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Colossians 1.9-14 (ESV)
How do we pray for fellow believers? It is a key question and with all questions relating to our Christian walk and work it is to Scripture we must look. As I think about this question I fear that one of the reasons that we are not seeing the forward movement of the gospel which we noted yesterday in Colosse is that our praying for one another is often too superficial.
It is right and proper that we pray for each other at every level and this of course includes particular personal needs such as sickness, bereavement, family issues etc. but do we pray for our church families as Paul prayed for the church family in Colosse.
I believe the verses above should challenge us deeply. They certainly challenge me and yet I constantly fail or just simply forget to pray like that.
Paul had received word of what was happening in this church and his immediate response was to pray for them!
Since we heard we have not ceased to pray for you.
That prayer was very direct and very focussed on their spiritual growth – you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Why did he pray like this?
That they might walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him:
What a blessing to have others praying that for you! Yet I have to ask myself ‘am I praying like that for my fellow church members.’
There is then more to this prayer and it is that they might be bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Fruit bearing is what we have been saved for. Hear again Jesus’ words in John 15.1-2
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch of mine that does not bear fruit he takes away and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit.
Tomorrow we will look at the final verses of this section which are just overflowing with reasons for us to be thankful. In the meanwhile let’s examine before God how we pray for one another.