The Reading: Colossians 1:9-14
“… knowledge … a life worthy … power …” (vv. 9,10,11) RSV
If we had to pray for three things for someone’s welfare, what would we choose? Would it be health, happiness and prosperity? When Paul prayed for the Colossians he prayed for their mind, their life and their power.
It must have been a great blessing to have Paul praying for them, but it was not up to them to tell him what to pray for. He chose to pray for the most vital aspects of their life.
First, he prayed “that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (v.9). Paul wanted them to understand who God was and what he had done for them. And he wanted them to know how God wanted them to live. Listening and learning is the beginning of wisdom. We too need to grow up in our faith. As Paul wrote elsewhere, we need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind” (Ephesians 4:23).
Secondly, Paul prayed for them “to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him …” (v.10). They were not to seek happiness or prosperity, though those things are by no means wrong. They were to seek to please their God. Their lives were to be fruitful expressions of his Spirit in them. Their lives were to be an eloquent testimony that would so shine before people that they would glorify God.
Thirdly, Paul prayed for “power” (v.11). In the case of the Colossians this was not the power to heal or speak for Christ, but to endure. They needed power to be patient and joyous (v.11) in spite of adverse conditions. One way that they could do this was to “give thanks” (v.12).
Paul would probably pray the same things for us: to know our God and his way, to live to please him, and to rejoice in all circumstances.
Lord, what a great salvation you have given. Help me to live it by faith with fear and trembling. Amen.
1 How can our life be transformed?
2 What is to be our attitude to hardship?