LINK: Colossians 1
Are you connected to the LORD Jesus Christ? Colossians is about being connected to Jesus and to other believers through Him. The church at Colossae (located in what is now Turkey) was troubled with teachings that led away from Jesus' death and resurrection and tried to mix in pagan and legalistic beliefs. Paul and Timothy stress here that it is ONLY through Jesus' sacrifice that we have eternal life. Jesus is God in the flesh (incarnate) and He is the only way to peace and forgiveness. He is the source of all life.
Paul had never visited Colossae. The Colossian church was started by Epaphras and other converts, probably around the same time that Paul was in Ephesus. Paul loved this church nonetheless, and he and Timothy show that concern in this letter. This is another of Paul's prison letters, written from Rome. He wanted them (and us) to understand that in Christ we have all we need for life. Jesus is supreme and all sufficient. We don't need angels or ceremonies or secret knowledge for a full life in Him. We only need Him. He alone is to be worshiped.
Paul and Timothy begin by greeting these believers they've never met and telling them that they've heard from Epaphras of the Colossians' faith in the Lord and their love for God's people. Paul and Timothy thank God for them! The letter zeroes in on just how the believers at Colossae are able to continue in faith and love. It's because of their hope of heaven! This is not a wishful kind of hope, but a hope that is objective and sure and that gives grounding and stability to believers.
Not only have Paul and Timothy heard of the believers' faith and love, but they pray for them! Look at that prayer! How rich it is. If you are ever unsure how to pray for other believers, here is your answer. I have frequently prayed this prayer for my children and my husband and others that I love who know the Lord.
...We ... 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. May you be 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)
For those of you who belong to the LORD Jesus: How do you pray? Do you concentrate on circumstances or do you pray like this - for spiritual wisdom and understanding in order to know and do God's will, for God's power and strength, for "endurance and patience with joy"? I love that last phrase, because it recognizes that pleasing God is not necessarily easy. It requires endurance to keep on and patience to wait. I'm also glad that word "joy" is there! Having a thankful heart for all we have in Christ helps produce that joy. We are redeemed and forgiven and are no longer ruled by darkness, but sharers in the light. The rest of this chapter details exactly who Christ is and what He has done. Stay tuned for that tomorrow!
I notice that the prayer doesn't ask for happiness or an easy life. Is the prayer your heart's desire for those you love who have trusted in Jesus' death, for yourself? If not, rethink your priorities.
Pray this prayer in Colossians 1:9-14 for someone.