I don’t know about you, but the prayer that we find in Colossians 1:9-14 is one that I would want someone taking to the Lord without ceasing for me. Is there any Christian anywhere that could want for anything better than to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding”? I don’t think so! And then, Paul tops that off with “so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.” Now, if Paul stopped here we would be scratching our heads wondering what he meant by “worthy of the Lord “, but he doesn’t end his thoughts here! To be “worthy of the Lord” is to “please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” The period is mine. As I read this prayer I have to stop at this point and ask myself how I accomplish these three things. Well, the first thing I need to do is take the “I” out of the equation. In and of myself there is no way I can please God, bear fruit in what I do or increase in my knowledge of Him. So then what? Well…
Paul’s prayer continues. We are to be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Imagine that! Paul is asking that the Colossian believers be “strengthened with all power”, not a little power, or some power, or enough power, but ALL power “according to His glorious might.” It’s impossible for me to fathom how much strength Paul is asking the Colossians (us) to be empowered with (I hate ending a sentence with a preposition). This is a strength that is to come from God’s “glorious might”. Can any of us imagine how great a power source Paul is asking that we have made available to us? Now with all of the “strength” and “power” and “might” that is coursing through us we are to clobber the enemy! Right??? Nope, wrong again. We are to be STEADFAST in our faith, PATIENT in our expectations, and JOYOUS in our “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
And why exactly is that the case? Shouldn’t we be out there on the front lines fighting for all we’re worth? Shouldn’t we muster the troops and mount an all out attack? Shouldn’t we…? Wait a minute, what SHOULD we do? He wants us to be STEADFAST? PATIENT? JOYOUS? TO GIVE THANKS? And why is that pray tell? “For 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.” We are to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. We should be steadfast in our faith, patient in our expectations, and joyous in our giving thanks. And why should we give thanks? Because, we have been REDEEMED.
So, if at some point in the future you are praying for us as a church (me especially) and are wondering what you should be asking, I can’t think of a better prayer to emulate than this one!