Part 2 – Colossians 1:9-14
Paul continues his exhortation to the Colossian church toward sound doctrine and Godly living. He does this by sharing the theologically rich prayer he and Timothy have consistently prayed for the saints in Colossae. Imagine how encouraged and challenged the Colossians must have been when they realized they were being prayed for so earnestly! There is much to be learned from this powerful prayer.
Pray Urgently & Unceasingly
First, we see that Paul and Timothy pray urgently and unceasingly. Paul says, “since the day we heard about this, we haven’t stopped praying for you.” The moment we realize that a brother or sister in Christ is lacking is the very moment to begin praying. Prayer is a first response. Begin praying immediately, and then keep praying. Paul senses that it’s a time of spiritual crisis for the church in Colossae. Remember, he’s in a prison cell in Rome, so he’s unable to travel to Colossae himself. What he can do is pray, urgently and unceasingly.
Pray Expectantly & Specifically
Paul and Timothy also pray expectantly and specifically. Because the Colossians have veered away from some of the fundamentals of the faith, Paul and Timothy pray for a return to God’s knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. They also pray for the Colossians to live fruitful and faithful lives, specifically for lives that are rooted in the strength and power that God alone can supply. There is a confidence in these prayers: an expectation that when the Colossian saints are reminded of the central truths of their faith, they will endure with lives of joy and thankfulness.
Finally, we see that Paul and Timothy pray biblically. Paul includes several powerful biblical themes in his prayer that serve as a reminder to the Colossians of their position in Christ. Paul speaks of the “saints’ inheritance in the light,” namely that there is an unspeakably glorious future that awaits those who are in Christ. Then Paul says, in Christ, we have “redemption” because God has “rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves.” In other words, we were once slaves to sin, but now, in Christ, we have been saved into God’s eternal kingdom. By emphasizing these fundamental Gospel realities within his prayer, Paul is undergirding the prayer with the strength of the Gospel and also urging the Colossians to turn away from the false teachings that may have infiltrated the church.
Often times churches (or individuals) face criticism when they are struggling theologically. When the Colossian church reaches a doctrinal crossroads, Paul and Timothy take it to the Lord in prayer. Their aim is to prayerfully guide, encourage, and restore the Colossian saints to the Gospel they had once received so they can walk faithfully in the strength of Christ.
- Are you prayerful? Are you persistent in prayer? Are you expectant?
- Do you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord? Specifically, is your chief aim to please God? Is your life marked by Gospel fruit? Do you persevere? Are you thankful?
- What is the inheritance that awaits those who are in Christ? How does a person “qualify” to receive this inheritance?
One of the most powerful ways we can love and encourage others is to pray for them using the truth of the Bible. Make a list of people you would like to begin praying for. This could be people in your family, your friends, or perhaps leaders or others in your church family. Then, make a list of Bible passages that you would like to include that would allow you to consistently and expectantly pray specific truths for the people on your list.