By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Colossians 1:3-12
Yet, in truth, we seldom actually pray for one another as we should. We are experts at the “I’m praying for you,” statement, but do we pray for one another as we ought?
Well, in our passage, the apostle Paul tells the church at Colossae he and his companions in ministry, “give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.” Down in verse 9, the apostle told the Colossians that it was not a one-time event, but that “we … did not cease to pray for you.”
Therefore, what can we learn about praying for the church? Well, there are several thoughts we should note.
First, in praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we pray with regularity. We have already noted that Paul prayed for the Colossians in a regular way.
In verse 3, he wrote, “praying always for you.” In verse 9, he wrote, he did not “cease to pray.” This is the kind of prayer life we should possess when it comes to praying for our brothers and sisters.
The second trait of praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ, is that we thank God for the gospel’s work. Paul writes that he has “heard” (v. 4) of the faith of the believers in Colossae, and in verse 5, he attributes it to the fact they had “heard before … the word of the truth of the gospel.” When was the last time you thanked God for saving a brother or sister in Christ? There are people in my church of which I thank God He saved them.
But the work of the gospel moves even farther, as Paul writes to the church and tells them what he sees in their lives. The gospel that saved the Colossians was the same Gospel that brought “forth fruit” (v. 6). Are we regularly thanking God for fruit-bearing believers?
Another way we pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ is to pray for their spiritual growth. In verses 9-12, the apostle spells out three things he is praying for when it comes to the Colossians spiritual maturity. These three things should be our prayer for our own lives and the lives of our follow saints.
First, we pray for peace in knowing the will of God (v. 9). Paul’s desire was for the Colossians to be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and understanding.”
Next, we pray for power in joining the walk of God (vv. 10-11). In these verses we see that Paul’s prayer was that the church would “walk worthy of the Lord.” Finally, we pray for the pleasure found in being a child of God (v. 12).
By this I mean, we need to pray for believers to live in the joy and blessedness of knowing what it means to be a child of God, and that we would “give thanks to God the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light.” Amen! B&R