Colossians 1:9-10

Grape cluster, near Hildegard’s Abbey, Rudesheim, Germany; photo by David Robinson

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. ~Colossians 1:9-10

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. Who do you faithfully pray for day after day, no matter what you see taking place in their lives? The apostle Paul had never met the people of the Church in Colossae. None the less, he faithfully committed to pray for them continually, writing that he had not stopped praying for them. Once Paul heard about the believers in Colossae, he began praying for them day after day, without stopping. He also prayed for the Church in Colossae with others, saying “we” have not stopped. Presumably, since he mentions Timothy “our brother” in the opening verse of this letter, Paul and Timothy daily offer up prayers for the people in the Church in Colossae. Who are you praying for daily? What church do you pray for daily?

We continually ask God to fill you: Paul has a habit of prayer, encouraging us to develop a daily rhythm and practice of praying for others. He tells the churches in Colossae, Ephesus, Thessaloniki, and Rome to pray often, continually, without ceasing.

Romans 12:12. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Ephesians 6:18. Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.

Colossians 4:2. Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

1 Thes. 5:17. Pray without ceasing.

Paul believed in the power of God unleashed through continual, unceasing prayer. Jesus taught us to “always pray and not give up.” ~Luke 18:1.

Who are you continually asking God to fill? How is your habit of prayer for others? What are you asking God to pour into the lives of people you know?

fill you with the knowledge of his will: Paul asks God to fill the people in the Church in Colossae with the knowledge of God’s will. In Romans 12:2, Paul describes God’s will as good, pleasing and perfect. Many ask how we can know God’s will. Paul tells us we become able to test and prove God’s will only when we refuse to conform our lives to the pattern of this world, but allow our minds to be transformed and renewed by God. May you know God’s good, pleasing and perfect will for your life, and may the knowledge of God’s will fill you as you read this.

through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives: James tells us that if we lack wisdom to ask God who gives wisdom without finding fault. May God fill your mind and heart with wisdom. Sophia in Greek, that quality of God that helps guide our lives daily along the right path to walk step by step as we live our daily lives. Wisdom is not abstract knowledge, but practical insight about how to live our daily lives. Understanding is when the light bulb goes on and the dark room becomes illuminated, and you begin to see the shape and design of the world in which you are living. Some understanding that the Spirit gives, at least at first, may be alarming, causing us to feel very uncomfortable about ourselves, as we begin to realize the darkness we’ve taken for granted. When the light of Christ shines into our hearts and minds, we may become disoriented, and even defensive of our old darkness, lashing out at the light that is shining in our lives. The Holy Spirit is known as the Comforter, but sometimes can be a very uncomfortable comfort.

so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord : ultimately, God seeks to help us to live better lives. Through wisdom and understanding we receive when God’s Light through the Holy Spirit shines upon our inner life, we begin to understand how to life lives that are worthy of the Lord. Much of our worth has been measured by limited human scales, and we’ve shortchanged ourselves, short-sheeted our beds, short-listed our potential in God. When the Holy Spirit works within us, our lives become empowered to live, to begin to truly live, and be filled with God’s worth. We become worthy, because God is full of worth.

and please him in every way: What truly pleases God? God is delighted in people who love God, people who live lives that reflect God’s love in all we do and say. God is pleased by those who do what God requires, to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with our God. We live lives worthy of the Lord when we seek to please God in every aspect of our lives, not just on Sunday morning or when we are on our knees in prayer, but in every aspect of daily living.

bearing fruit in every good work: God has created us to bear fruit. When we abide in Jesus, he abides is us, and we will truly bear much fruit, including the fruit of love, joy, peace. The labor of our lives, every work we do will be good, when we are intimately attached to the vine of Jesus. That renewing life of Jesus will flow into us like sap coming into a branch from the Vine. Every good work we perform brings God glory, and declarers God’s beauty in this world.

growing in the knowledge of God: Paul believed in lifelong growth, lifelong learning, lifelong development, lifelong discipleship. We are never too young or too old to grow in the knowledge of God. Knowledge of God is more than abstract ideas, but rather personally becoming aware of how to live in a way that pleases God and honors God. May Jesus bear much fruit through every good work you do this week as you continue to grow in the knowledge of God. Let us lift up our prayers continually for the Church, for the local church near you, where God’s people are seeking to live lives worthy of the Lord.