Having stated that he thanks God for the Colossians because of the testimony of their faith, love and hope, and that he prays they would know God’s will for their lives so they can continue to grow and serve Him, Paul concludes this prayer with two reasons for praying this.
The first reason is so they will bring honor and glory to God by their lives. “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord” (10) If you carry the name ‘Christian’ your life must reflect well on Him. Pray you would live a life that would cause others to think better of Jesus because of you. Pray that for me in India, and for the pastors and Christians in India as well.
The second reason Paul prays they will know God’s will is so they can bring pleasure to Him by their lives. “And may please him in every way. (10) What are we to do that brings Him pleasure, that puts a smile on God’s face? How are we to do this? How are we to pray for others to do this?
1. “Bearing fruit in every good work” (10) We are alive to produce fruit for God, good fruit: love, joy peace, patience and the other fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24). Everyone produces fruit, for the Christian ours must be “good” work to bring glory to Him.
2. “Growing in the knowledge of God” (10) God wants every one of us to grow in our knowledge of Him. This starts with mental knowledge in our heads as we learn His Word and know more about Him, but it doesn’t stop there. It means ‘knowing’ Him in a more intimate way, not just knowing about Him but experiencing a deeper personal relationship with Him (Philippians 3:7-11).
3. “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.” (11) He doesn’t change circumstances and make life easy for us (so stop praying for that to happen in your life and the lives of others). But He does promise He will give us power and strength to overcome, to resist, to stay faithful no matter what. “Great endurance and patience” is required, though, because victory seldom comes quickly or easily.
4. “And joyfully giving thanks to the Father.” (11-12) Paul started with thanksgiving, and now He concludes with it as well. We bring happiness to God when we joyfully give thanks, no matter what is happening in our lives. Paul concludes this prayer with his own personal words of thanksgiving to God because of His greatness to all of us. “Who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (12-14)
This classis prayer of Paul’s, typical of how He prayed for all the churches and believers, gives us great insight into how we can pray to see lives changed, both here and in India. Pray for yourself, those God puts on your heart here, for me and for the pastors and Christians of India. Pray each one of us would be characterized by faith, love and hope. Pray we would have a clear and full awareness of what God wants us to be and do for Him so that our lives will bring glory to Him as others see us and bring pleasure to Him as He watches us. Pray we would bear good fruit in all we do, grow in our knowledge of and intimacy with Him, experience His power and strength over temptation and difficulties around us, and that we would continually and joyfully give thanks to Him. And don’t pray this just once; make this your prayer daily, several times a day, for yourself and your loved ones as well as for me and the pastors and Christians in India.
Peter and I fly from Philadelphia to London at 6:30 tonight. The flight takes 7 hours. After a 7 hour layover in the airport we fly to Hyderabad, India. That flight is 10 hours and arrives at 6 PM Wednesday your time, but at 4:35 AM India time Thursday morning. I’ll write after I get there when I am able to do so.