Colossians 1:9-14 Three Things to Pray

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, 10 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. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Three Things to Pray

As Kelli and I drove in the car this morning on too short a night’s sleep, I read this passage and the commentary on it out loud to her.  She exclaimed that it is one of her most favourite passages in the Bible.  I must admit I was in no mood for sarcasm.  I didn’t even get why what she said was funny.  Then she insisted that she was serious.  There is a lot in there, she told me.  She even said that in the upcoming Family Retreat at Lake Geneva Youth Camp, I should teach through just this passage and not the whole book as I had planned.

Paul prays the essentials for the Christians of Colossians.  For them, he wants knowledge, patience, and thanksgiving.

Knowledge.  The role of knowledge is understated in 21st century American Christianity.  In fact I was Skyping with Australia this morning and I was struck that it is the same in Australia and the United Kingdom.  We want a faith that is free from hard work.  We insist that the faith is a relationship with God, but we want to keep it shallow.  If you go deep with anyone you know more about them.  God has revealed sixty-six books of the Bible with varying levels of complexity.  Many young Christians get bored with the shallow, and lifeless way we moralise and flatten the character of scripture.  We are to spend a lifetime plunging into the depths of God’s self revelation.  There is no end of our quest for knowledge.

Patience.  In the commentary I read the following paragraph from Nouwen was written:

The word patience means the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us.  Impatient people are always expecting the real thing to happen somewhere else and therefore want to go elsewhere.  The moment is empty.  But patient people dare to stay where they are.

Thanksgiving.  Gratitude is commanded as a discipline for the Christian.  Nouwen is once more quoted in my commentary:

Gratitude in its deepest sense means to live life as a gift to be received gratefully.  But gratitude as the gospel speaks about it embraces all of life:  the good and the bad, the joyful and the painful, the holy and not so holy.

Prayer

Father, like Paul, may I pray continuously and specifically for others.  May I desire for them knowledge, patience and thanksgiving.  Like the Colossians, may I live out a life of knowledge, patience, and thanksgiving.  May my gratitude stem from a deep understanding of you and also of my place in the world.  I am loved and accepted and I am equipped and useful.  Thank you.

Questions

  1. How is Paul’s discipline of prayer described?
  2. How is the knowledge for which Paul prays described?
  3. Why should the Colossians give thanks to the Father?
  4. How do you pray for your church and other Christians?
  5. How are you doing in the areas of knowledge, patience, and gratitude?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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17 Responses to Colossians 1:9-14 Three Things to Pray

  1. Kimberly W. says:

    1. Paul’s discipline of prayer is described as being unceasing.
    2. The knowledge Paul prays for is described both as knowledge of God and knowledge of God’s will for spiritual wisdom and understanding.
    3. The Colossians should give thanks to the Father because they share in the inheritance of the saints–they are part of the kingdom of the Son because through the Son they have redemption and forgiveness of sins.
    4. When praying for other Christians, I often pray for wisdom and that their eyes would be open to truth. I pray too for encouragement and comfort for fellow believers.
    5. Attending Moody has helped me to grow in my knowledge of God, although there is still so much for me to learn! I am beginning to learn some patience, I hope, but I am often reminded of how impatient and demanding I can be when things are not going the way I want. In regards to gratitude, it is not hard for me to be grateful for the good in my life, although at times it is hard to see the good.

  2. 1. Paul is consistent with his prayers and hasn’t ceased.
    2. The knowledge that Paul prays for is described as the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him, and bearing every good wok), and increasing in knowledge of Himself.
    3. The Colossians should give thanks to the Father because He has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
    4. I pray for my church and other Christians to be consistent in their faith, not easily swayed by the things of this world. I pray that Christians would seek God’s will and live by His commandments.
    5. I realized a few years ago that I would come out of Moody with more questions than answers, which I think is important to acknowledge because I have a tendency to want to know everything. That, however, won’t stop me from digging deep into Scripture and trying to find answers to my questions, but I need to realize that there are some things I will never know or understand about God. As far as patience, I admit that I need some work in that area. I notice at how impatient and frustrated I can get at times when things don’t go my way. There are so many things to be grateful for in this life. We live in an overly materialistic culture and sometimes I find it difficult to be grateful for what I have when everything and everyone around me is never satisfied with what they have. There is always something bigger and better. There are many things in my life that I am grateful for and that is something that I am definitely taking away from today’s blog post.

  3. Jung Kim says:

    1.How is Paul’s discipline of prayer described? His prayer is never ceasing: It involves thanksgiving and his compassionate heart towards the Colossians.
    2.How is the knowledge for which Paul prays described? The knowledge is described as God’s knowledge which includes spiritual wisdom and understanding.
    3.Why should the Colossians give thanks to the Father? As inheritances of the saints, they are part of the Heavenly Kingdom, which is why they are to give thanks to the Father.
    4.How do you pray for your church and other Christians? When prayer for my church and other Christians, I pray for their desire and love for Christ. Their ears to hear and eyes to see. Also, their hearts to open to accept what God speaks through the pastor.
    5.How are you doing in the areas of knowledge, patience, and gratitude? Looking back over times in my life, I lacked in knowledge of God until I came to Moody. I learned that faith is really my relationship with God and not what your parents pass on to you. Patience is one of the biggest weaknesses I have that I need to die to self every moment of my life. As far as gratitude goes, I am happy with what I have but tend to forget that when I see anything unsatisfying. I want to rejoice in God everyday though. Joy is one thing that I want to pursue as one of my life-long goals.

  4. Michael McCardle says:

    1. Paul’s discipline of prayer is unceasing and full of thankfulness.
    2. Knowledge is given from God.
    3. Thanks is to be given to God because he has given us an inheritance of salvation.
    4. During this season of life, I have been praying for a church camp that is dear and near to my heart, salvation story and family. My prayer for the camp is for God’s presence to fill the grounds, for the leaders to be led by the Spirit and that God will provide all that the camp needs to continue their ministry.
    5. I have grown a lot over the last few semester in the amount of patients I have for dorm life. This summer while I was home, I learned a lot about what it truly means to be thankful for what you have.

  5. 1. Paul is a man of prayer-never ceasing
    2. He prayers for the knowledge of God-the knowledge of his will and spiritual understanding.
    3. The Colossians should give thinks because they are qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.
    4. I pray that my Church will have wisdom to minister to the many people that enter their doors-or that they may come in contact with outside of the doors. I pray that Christians would have a deeper passion for Christ-and rejoice in their standing as saints in light.
    5. Knowledge-it seems my knowledge of God is so limited even after many years in bible School. Even though I learn more-I know less. My patience has grown only through God’s grace. Gratitude is a difficult one-though I have everything I need, and sometimes want-I grow cynical and ungrateful with where God has placed me in my life, this is a weak point, but it’s one that I want to strengthen-with gratitude and thanksgiving comes joy.

  6. Christina W. says:

    1. Paul’s discipline of prayer is described as without ceasing.
    2. The knowledge Paul prays for is described as knowledge of God’s will as well as spiritual wisdom and understanding.
    3. The Colossians should give thanks because God has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints.
    4. When I pray for my church and other Christians, I pray that the Lord would give them wisdom and discernment and that he would strengthen and encourage them.
    5. In the areas of knowledge, patience, and gratitude, I definitely think that I am growing. Some days are better than others and I know that there is always room for improvement. My knowledge has grown since coming to school and hopefully will continue to grow after school as well. Patience is something that I can always be working on but it something that I think has grown over the last few years especially. Finally, gratitude is something that I am good at when things are good but have to work hard at when things don’t seem to be going as well. It takes lots of intentionality on my part.

  7. 1. Paul is continually immersed in prayer for his fellow brothers and sisters. His prayers come from a sincere concern for the Colossians. He longs for them to know their true identity as citizens of the kingdom of the beloved.
    2. Paul prays for a knowledge for the Colossians that would give them a knowledge of God’s will to be applied through “spiritual wisdom and understanding”. That kind of knowledge ultimately enables the believer to walk more and more in sync with the Lord, pleasing Him and producing fruits which align with His desires for His people.
    3. They should give thanks the God because He has taken them out of the kingdom of darkness and “transferred” them into the kingdom of the beloved.
    4. I pray that my church would be sensitive to the Lord’s calling; that they would listen for His voice attentively and when He speaks that they would be so attuned to Him that they would follow His guidance. I pray that my church would not be overcome by fear, but rather recognize their identity in Christ and rely on God and His sovereignty.
    5. Since coming to Moody I have to constantly check myself in making sure that what knowledge I gain about the Lord does not go unused, both with regards to others as well as my own relationship with Him. My patience has grown stronger since coming into the Moody community. Here we are always around others and, hopefully, engaging purposefully with them. That constant community however can be draining on me at times, and I have had to learn to purposefully choose and step into patience. Gratitude in the realization of the Lord’s faithfulness is one of the things that secures me against fears which at this point in time seem like so many. Moody has definitely been a place of growing my faith in His faithfulness in the face of the unknown continually.

  8. Christa Larsen-Sorterup says:

    1. How is Paul’s discipline of prayer described? Paul describes his prayers for the Colossians as without ceasing
    2. How is the knowledge for which Paul prays described? Paul describes knowledge in terms of spiritual wisdom and understanding as they deal with the will of God; Paul instructs the Colossians to increase in this knowledge as they bear fruit
    3. Why should the Colossians give thanks to the Father? The Colossians had much to give God thanks for including their divine inheritance, deliverance from darkness, place in the kingdom of Christ, and redemption from sins
    4. How do you pray for your church and other Christians? I often pray for believers as they share struggles or hardships with me or if the Lord brings certain people to mind unexpectedly
    5. How are you doing in the areas of knowledge, patience, and gratitude? I often view knowledge as something easily attained with the plethora of information at my fingertips without recognizing the hard work that comes with true knowledge. My patience has been tried lately as I sometimes think that I have a better idea of the way my life should be played out than great plan the Lord has for me. I am sincerely grateful for the blessings and people that the Lord has placed in my life but am often forget to actually thank the Lord for all that He is and does.

  9. Megumi says:

    1.Paul is described as praying unceasingly for the Colossians to experience the essentials: knowledge, patience, and thanksgiving.
    2. Knowledge is the result of a deep relationship with God.
    3. The Colossians are urged to give thanks to the Father, because He has caused them to share the inheritance of the saints.
    4.Recentlly, I’ve prayed that the church and her saints be renewed by the Holy Spirit and enabled to hold fast, as so much these days threatens to erode their faith.
    5.I have been reminded of the need and virtue of patience this summer. The way that patience is described by the commentary quoted above challenges much of how I have been living–always with an eye to the future, and racing three steps ahead–rather than daring to be where I currently am.

  10. Paul’s prayer for the church is never ceasing. Paul’s prayer for knowledge is described as knowledge of God’s own self, and of God’s will for us. The Colossians should give thanks to God because they have been delivered from darkness and brought into light; a picture of the inheritance given to them from God. I pray for fellow Christians to be encouraged and comforted by the Holy Spirit, and to be discerning. Even after attending Moody, I feel like I have SO much to learn about who God is, and I honestly feel like I will leave Moody with even more questions than when I began. I don’t spend enough time giving thanks to God, and I know that I need to make that a priority in my prayer life. Patience is something I have grown tremendously in since becoming a Christian; having patience with my parents has always been something that’s challenged me, but I feel like God has helped me grow in that area.

  11. Olyn says:

    1. unceasing
    2. deep spiritual knowledge
    3. in order to walk in a way that pleases the Father and bears fruit
    4. I usually pray that they would grow in their relationship, depth and passion for the Lord
    5. I feel like I am growing in knowledge because of all the classes I am taking at Moody. As far as patience goes, God generally has to present the “opportunities” for me to grow in that area (in other words, He leaves no choice). I am very grateful for where the Lord has me and the ways He has blessed me, but I think I need to learn to practice thankfulness in everyday small things.

  12. Maria T. says:

    How is Paul’s discipline of prayer described? It never ceases.
    How is the knowledge for which Paul prays described? It is the knowledge of God’s will, in full and complete wisdom and understanding. This knowledge is deeper than just knowing. It goes beyond that to action.
    Why should the Colossians give thanks to the Father? Because He has qualified them to share in the inheritance of His kingdom of light, rescuing them from the domain of darkness!
    How do you pray for your church and other Christians? Often I ask that we would know the love of God, but I think I have been stopping there recently. I should pray Colossians 1 for them.
    How are you doing in the areas of knowledge, patience, and gratitude? I am tired, and my mind is tired. I do not want to work at knowing right now. I want something other than what I have been given, and it does have to do with timing, so I am impatient and ungrateful. But God is good and deserves that thanks and praise, because even right now He is teaching me so well.

  13. Maelynn says:

    1. He praya without ceasing for the Colossians.
    2. It is the knowledge of God’s will, spiritual wisdom, and understanding.
    3. Because he has qualified them to share in the inheritance of the saints of the light.
    4. I pray scripture over them. I pray for wisdom for them.
    5. I want to do better in the area of knowledge of God. I want to meditate on and read his word more.

  14. Nate Silvieus says:

    1. His prayers are unceasing
    2. That the Colossians will know what the will of God is through Spiritual wisdom and understanding- and always increasing.
    3. because through the work of Christ we are able to share in the inheritance of the Saints. We have been taken from the domain of darkness and into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ through whom we have complete redemption and forgiveness of sins.
    4. Not as much as I need to. But my prayer for my church and my brothers and sisters in Christ is that we would all continue to grow in Christ, in knowledge, love and thanksgiving, so that these common goals would unify us through our Savior, Jesus.
    5. My desire for knowledge of Christ and what he has done for me seems to fluctuate. Right now, as I enter a new school year I am excited to learn and see how God will work, but then I think of all the hard things that are going to happen and many other things, which by the time Thanksgiving roles around, I know my desire for the Scriptures will shrink- and my prayer now is that I will not follow previous patterns. Patience is always extremely difficult and I need to work on it daily and pray for peace and understanding for where I am now. Thanksgiving is sometimes easier. Throughout my life I have seen God work in mysterious ways and he has led me through so much that I know I can thank no other person but him first and foremost.

  15. Andrew Moore says:

    1. How is Paul’s discipline of prayer described?
    Paul’s prayer is described as unceasing.
    2. How is the knowledge for which Paul prays described?
    Knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
    3. Why should the Colossians give thanks to the Father?
    Because he “has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
    4. How do you pray for your church and other Christians?
    I pray for their personal needs and for their continued growth in Christ.
    5. How are you doing in the areas of knowledge, patience, and gratitude?
    Knowledge – Trying to learn more every day and praying to God for wisdom.
    Patience – A constant struggle
    Gratitude – Not always as grateful as I should be

  16. Emmy R says:

    1. Unceasing
    2. It is described as a knowledge that is pleasing to the will of the Lord and one that causes your life to produce fruit.
    3. Because He is qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints.
    4. I wish I prayed more like Paul instructed the Colossians, but my prayers are more “need” based.
    5. I am constantly in need of growth in all areas, and seek to improve so that my life will produce fruit.

  17. Molly says:

    1.Paul’s prayer is never ceasing 2. Knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
    3. Because He has qualified them for inheritances of the saints,
    4.I pray for sensitivity to the Spirit, obedience to His word and personal needs to bring them closer to the Father.
    5.These are both areas that I can grow in, and I always will. Every year I am thankful for another year of faith and for the deepening of the knowledge of God through His spirit and His church. At times I grow impatient because I want to be at a certain point in my faith but I am not yet there. I need to remember to have a continual happy heart for what has been revealed to me now.

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