From God’s word – Paul’s prayer to the believers in Colesse


By Toni Ford

Paul wrote the Book of Colossians while he was in prison in Rome to a group of people that attended a very small church in Colosse. This city was surrounded by two larger cities, Laodicea and Hierapolis. The entire area was known as a meeting point where East and West intersected due to an important trade route that passed through these cities. All kinds of philosophers mingled in this cosmopolitan area, and although there was a large Jewish colony in Colosse, there was a constant influx of new ideas and doctrines from the East. It was fertile ground for religious speculations. Paul did not start the Colossian church, nor did he ever visit the town or even meet personally with the believers.However, Paul had “heard of their faith” (Colossians 1:4-9). So here we have a church of unknown people in a small town receiving an inspired letter from the great apostle Paul!
Paul wrote to the believers in Colosse because he knew their peace and purity were being threatened by the Eastern philosophy and Jewish legalism that had become a part of that city. This heresy promised people such a close union with God that they would achieve a “spiritual perfection” if they would enter into the teachings and ceremonies being taught. These teachings undermined the very foundation of the Christian faith and were deceptive in many ways.
We currently live in a time when religious toleration is interpreted to mean “one religion is just as good as another.” People today are trying to harmonize and unite many different schools of thoughts to come up with a new superior religion, or even an adjusted religion based off of how they think the Bible should be interpreted. Make no mistake – there is and always will be one God, and He is not a “religion” but rather One who wants to have a personal relationship with every person He creates. His guidebook for living is His Word, the Bible, which has never changed, nor will it ever change, since it was written by Him in the beginning.
This is the reason Paul begins his letter to the believers in Colosse with a recognition of God’s superiority and a prayer for the people. We will not able to study the entire chapter this week; however, I would like to point out a couple of specific things Paul prays for the believers in Colossians from verses 9-10.
Paul prayed for complete knowledge of His will. This can also be referred to as spiritual intelligence. Colossians 1: 9 says, “We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Note that Paul did not pray for material blessings or physical health for the Colosse believers; rather, he prayed that they might have a deeper revelation of the Father. The false teachers used these words of “knowledge,” “wisdom” and “spiritual understanding” by promising the Colossian believers that they would be “in the know” if they accepted the new doctrines. Therefore, Paul used these same words in his prayer for the believers in that they might understand the true meaning of what it means to be controlled by the full knowledge of God’s will and who God is. How were these believers to do this and how do we do this today? By knowing and understanding God’s Word, which is key to the beginning of a successful and fruitful Christian life.
Paul prayed for complete and practical obedience. Colossians 1: 10 says, “Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord; and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.” As believers, we should know that knowledge and obedience or learning and living go together. There is no separation. Warren Wiersbe says it this way, “Two words summarize the practicality of the Christian life: walk and work. The sequence is important: first wisdom; then walk; then work.” Once again, the question arises as to how do we know how to walk and where do we gain this wisdom?
It is from God’s Word and the more we read, study and meditate on His Word, then we will know God’s will and be able to walk with Him and work for Him. The ultimate goal is that our walk is pleasing to the Lord, and the work we do is the outflow of the life that we live for Him.
Lord, we desire to grow in greater wisdom, revelation, and spiritual understanding of You and Your Word. Please open our eyes and ears to see and understand You more. As a result, may we take what we learn and live in obedience to You, glorifying You in all that we do and say.
If you would like me to join you in prayer, please e-mail me at I would love to pray for you!

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