Colossians 1:9, 12

We… 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… giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints light.  Colossians 1:9, 12


How would you classify most of your praying?  Do you pray more about physical matters or spiritual matters?  The prison prayers of Paul are somewhat unique.  He prayed more for others than he did for himself, and most of his prayers for others regard spiritual rather than physical matters.  This is the kind of prayer partner we should all desire to have.

Paul prayed specifically for three things.  First, he prayed for spiritual intelligence for the church in Colossae.  He wanted believers to know, understand, and experience the will of God for their lives.  That only takes place as we get to know His Word and His Spirit, and as we live in community with one another.  All three -- Word, Spirit, and church -- are absolutely essential to Christian growth.

Second, he prayed for their practical obedience in living our God's will.  Someone has rightly said, "The devil finds his arsenal in the stockpile of our disobedience."  In the New Testament, learning and living go hand in hand.  Our confession and our conduct should be one and the same.  If we know to do the right thing but don't do it, then for us it is sin.  We cannot compartmentalize what we believe from how we live.  In Paul's words, we are to "walk worthy of the Lord" (Colossians 1:10), which means we must live out a consistent, authenitic faith.

Third, Paul prayed for their moral character.  Knowledge, conduct, and service should always lead to character development.  Have you ever met people who seemed to know a lot about the Bible, yet the way they treated others did not resemble Jesus' words about loving and caring for people?  One of the greatest detriments to the Christian witness in today's world is not our message, but our lack of character.*

Father, thank You for recording Paul's prayer so that I could ponder it today.  I confess that sometimes my prayer life can be reduced to a list of personal physical needs.  Help me know, understand, and experience Your will for my life.  Help me live out what I say I believe.  Help me continue in the process of transformation on a daily basis.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

*Rick White, Franklin, TN