Communion with God is oxygen for our souls. Prayer becomes the surround sound of fellowship with God who nourishes us with His presence. Prayer is not merely ritualistic words to speak in a particular time or place. Prayer is communion with God who changes our lives.
“Our lives must be as holy as our prayers. Our prayers are to prove their reality by the fruit they bear in the holiness of our life. True devotion in prayer will assuredly be rewarded, by God’s grace, with the power to live a life of true devotion to Him and His service.” ~ Andrew Murray
Paul and Timothy heard of the faith and “love in the Spirit” of the believers in the church at Colossae, and they thanked God for the progress of the gospel and the changed lives in the region. Beginning with verse 9, Paul and Timothy expand their prayer and pray for specific blessings for the believers in the church.
“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.” (Colossians 1:9–12, ESV)
Paul’s prayer for the believers in Colossae helps us know how to pray for each other. I am praying daily for my family, friends, and our church.
1. I pray that we would be saturated with the knowledge of God’s will.
When I fill a glass with water, the glass may be overflowing with water but the glass isn’t affected. The picture of this text is different. To “be filled” is like sinking a sponge into a basin of water so that every pore of the sponge is saturated with water and the sponge grows to its greatest length and width and breadth.
The knowledge of God that we need is not some intellectual, informational growth. That’s not what Paul meant. The knowledge we need is relational; a knowledge founded in a proper attitude toward God (Prov 1:7) which leads to right behavior (Phil 1:9-10). We need God to fill us with Himself so that we grow in relationship with Him.
I am praying that God would soak our lives in Himself so that every pore of our saturated souls grows to its greatest depths and heights as followers of Jesus. When we are immersed in relationship with God, our hearts beat in time with His. Our minds move along the track of His desire. We gain wisdom (living life according to what God wants) and understanding (the application of what God wants to the details of our day).
2. I pray that God’s pleasure would be our highest priority.
It has been said, “The trouble with good advice is that it usually interferes with your plans.” We may see God’s path, but we have difficulty taking it. Paul’s prayer highlights the battle that rages within every believer. It is a war of pleasure. Whose pleasure is our greatest priority: my pleasure or God’s pleasure?
Paul prayed “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him.” We know that we are pleasing God when we are fruitful in our work for Him and growing daily in our fellowship with Him. Pleasing God is an experience with God that does the good work that He has given us to do.
3. I pray that God would strengthen us by His power.
In the process of pursuing God’s pleasure, we need the strength of God’s grace to endure with joy. God in His grace empowers us with all might measured by the reservoir of His power.
“When by grace God’s power and compassion invade your life the result is that you have everything that you need.” ~ Paul David Tripp
This strength isn’t merely for our pleasure, but to bring pleasure to God with our lives. God gives us patience and longsuffering to complete the mission that He has given us with joy-fueled purpose.
4. I pray that God would grant us gratitude for His work of love.
Something amazing happens in us when we gain a greater gratitude for what God has done for us through Jesus. God has given us an inheritance, delivered us from the power of darkness, moved us into citizenship of His kingdom, and rescued us from our sins. When our minds are consumed with thoughts of God’s love for us, our hearts swell with songs of satisfaction in service to our King.
I pray that God would overwhelm us with His presence. God desires to make us fruitful for His pleasure. I pray that we grow in Him so that we live each day in true devotion to Him and His service.