Prayed for: Devotional Commentary for October 8-14
9For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, 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;
10that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
Paul continued to pray for the Colossians. Epaphras' words about the Colossians were encouraging. Their faith, perseverance, and love for all the saints reflected a genuine confession of Jesus' Lordship and a real commitment to follow Him.
Paul's commendation of the Colossians did not mean they attained excellence in their Christian walk and their service to God. While their faith and love were remarkable, they still needed wisdom and strength to grow as believers. There was room for continued advancement as Christians. So Paul continued to pray for them so that they might mature in faith and be pleasing to God in every way.
Faith and love cannot be significant and meaningful unless they are enriched by true knowledge, spiritual understanding, godly wisdom, and a viable discernment of God's Will and Purpose. It was in this sense that Paul continued to intercede for the Colossians so that they might be filled with knowledge and wisdom in order that they might correctly understand God's Will.
He prayed for them that they might walk worthy of the Lord, pleasing to God in every way, and that they might be fruitful in every work they do. While he commended them for their faith and love, Paul still pleaded with God for the Colossians that He would strengthen them by His Power. He prayed that their knowledge of God might increase and that they would continue in faith and love with patience and enduring perseverance. In other words, Paul interceded for the Colossians that they might excel in faith and love by the Power of God so that they might be fruitful and pleasing to Him even more.
12giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
Paul's intercessory prayer was not merely a list of his wants and wishes for the believers in Colossae. He acknowledged that God alone is the Source of everything the Colossians had including their commendable faith and love for the saints. Paul gave thanks to God for what He had done in the lives of the Colossians. God our Father qualified His children, including the Colossians, to be co-heirs of the heavenly inheritance with Jesus Christ. So He Who qualified the redeemed to receive the heavenly gift in Jesus Christ, is also gracious to bless us with wisdom and understanding so that we might be fruitful and pleasing to Him in every way.
Paul affirmed to the Colossians that, He Who made us the children of light, has also set us free from the power of darkness and brought us over into the Kingdom of His Love. So Paul prayed for the Colossians that their knowledge of their freedom in Christ would increase and that they would be strengthened by the Power of God Who set them free. Paul knew that Jesus Christ, in Whom we have received redemption and forgiveness for our sins, is also faithful and loving to make us worthy in Him, pleasing to Him, and fruitful in Him. So he prayed that the commendable faith and love of the Colossians would excel even more by God's Power and His blessings so that their life would continue to bring glory to God.
Paul made sure that the Colossians clearly understood that their life in Christ is the gift of God. Their redemption is the work of God in Jesus Christ. Forgiveness, mercy, faith, love, hope, knowledge, wisdom, and strength are all gifts from God. He prayed for them because he knew that, apart from the Spirit of God, there was nothing in them which could be pleasing to God. In his prayer for the Colossians, Paul expressed confidence in God that God Himself will strengthen His children with His glorious Power to presevere in Joy and patience and live a fruitful life that is pleasing to God.
Paul's prayers for the Colossians are also God's Word of inspired prayer for us. While Paul's commendation of the Colossians was encouraging at the outset, these believers did not have any reason to credit themselves for what was happening in their lives. The same is true of all of God's children across the ages. In Christ alone, we act, we move, we have our being.
Paul's words to the Colossians were both exhortative and commendatory. In commending them, he underscored the fruit of the Spirit flourishing in their lives resulting in thriving faith and blossoming love. But in exhorting them he reminded the Colossians that each life is a work in progress needing more knowledge, understanding, and wisdom from God. Realizing that they cannot effect such a dynamic furtherance on their own, Paul prayed that God would nurture their growth with His unfailing sustenance.
Faith and love cannot be realistically inspired by mere excitement or vigorous gusto. The believer's knowledge of the Word of God must progressively increase. The believer must be filled with understanding. The believer must ask and receive wisdom from God. When the known is understood and what is understood is applied in wisdom, then faith will be preserved, love will blossom, and the new man in Christ will be animated by God's glorious Power. The saints so transformed will persevere in patience and longsuffering. They will be not only faithful and loving, but also strong, knowledgeable of God's Will and Purpose, and truly joyful.
It is good to hear words of commendation for our faith in the Lord. It is good to receive recognition for the way we treat each other in God's Love. But being aware that our life in Christ is a journey of faith in which we forget what we have left behind and press onward toward the finishline in the victory of our Lord to receive the crown of life won for us by Jesus Christ our Savior, is much better and more profitable. After all, He is the vine. We are the branches. Without Him we can do nothing. But in Him, we can do all things because He is our strength and our wisdom.