I was reading through Colossians this morning when this set of verses really stood out to me:
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. – Colossians 1:9-12, NASB
I’ve read these verses before many times, but as it is sometimes, the Holy Spirit brings new emphasis to a set of familiar verses. In this case, the simplicity of the prayer is remarkable: “ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” This was a prayer that Paul and Timothy (v. 1), and likely Epaphras (v. 7 and 4:12), prayed regularly (“we have not ceased to pray”) for the believers in Colosse. But look at the benefits Paul ascribes to such a filling:
- so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
- bearing fruit in every good work
- increasing in knowledge of God
- strengthened with all power… for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience
- joyously giving thanks to the Father
All of these logically fall out if a person is filled with the knowledge of God’s will and has the spiritual wisdom and understanding that led to it. It just goes to show how such a simple request can have such a dramatic effect. Which then begs the question, “Why aren’t we praying this for each other?” We often pray for each other when we’re in need. “Hey, I lost my job. Can you pray for me in my search for a new one?” “My brother was just diagnosed with cancer. Would you pray that God’s healing hand be upon him?” “I’m at a crossroads in my life and I need to make a decision. Will you ask God to give me wisdom as to the choice I have to make?” But how about in normal day-to-day life? Do we pray for each other to know God’s will and to have gotten to that knowledge by having a solid basis in spiritual wisdom and understanding? The knowledge spoken of here is a thorough knowledge. In other words, not just knowing the facts of what God wants us to do, but seeing it more in the sense of the big picture: why we are doing what we’re doing. Imagine the difference if we asked this for each brother and sister in Christ we know, for the congregations of our churches, and for the ministries we support and are part of and God gave us this petition. Think about the greater impact we could have for the glory of our Savior.
So here’s my challenge for this week: to remember my brothers and sisters in Christ each day and ask for them what Paul repeatedly asked for the believers in Colosse. That includes myself, by the way, since I want to know His will. I know I want the results of this prayer. I know that I want to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. And I want the same for the body of Christ. When we do so we honor God. When we do so we cause non-believers and believers alike to see we’re different, to come face-to-face with the fact that our difference is due to God and when we do that, we bring Him glory. And that all goes back to our primary purpose, which is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Would you join me in this simple prayer request for your brothers and sisters in Christ?