Monday, April 27, 2009

Colossians 1:9-14 "Prayer and Purpose"

Read Colossians 1:9-14.

"...asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." NIV
I absolutely love this passage and here's why. It is a complete instruction on prayer and walking the Christian life. Absolutely, complete -- the how, why, and what for. In fact, I'd suggest you read the passage slowly at least two more times and completely absorb what it's teaching us.

Did you read it? Waiting.......

Okay, now let's look at it step by step.

What do we pray for? I listen to prayer request after prayer request and they always seem to be about the same thing - meet my need. And I know God hears those prayers. But where I think we are missing the boat is that God already promised to meet our needs. He knows every hair on our head, and He will provide for our needs. Now He does say to ask, so I'm not saying these prayers are wrong. We are to ask, but there is something greater that we should be praying for -- "the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." If the Spirit gives me insight into that, there really isn't anything else I need. Every other part of my life will fall into place. I will have a divine perspective that far exceeds any simple need I have here in my mortal life.

What kind of life will this prayer bring? One that pleases God. Is there anything greater than pleasing the Almighty God of Universe?

What pleases God? A life "bearing fruit in every good work." Actually accomplishing something for the kingdom -- reaching out to those in need, comforting the hurting, taking care of the widows and orphans, helping the wayward, lonely teenager, etc. It's also a life growing in the knowledge of God and being strengthened with all power.

Strengthened for what? So you can have "great endurance and patience." We have a long race to be running. Our work here is hard and unending. We are on this earth to share God's love and we certainly aren't running out of people who need it or opportunities to give it. And while we are running, we are attacked on all sides. The enemy wants to take us out and will try by any means to do so. But with the strength and patience of our Father, we can continue running the race we have been given to run.

Why run the race? Because we have already been given the prize of sharing "in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light." Heaven is waiting for us. We have a hope and a future that no one and no difficulty and no government and no tragedy and no recession can take away from us. Glory is waiting for us to cross the finish line and to cross it strong.

Why should we be thankful? Because our loving Father "rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." He paid the ultimate price so we don't have to. He loves us that much!

Why can I have such hope? Because through Jesus Christ, "we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Without His sacrifice and our surrender, we will be separated from God forever. But His one act of love saved us for eternity, if we will only receive.

Amazing..... and humbling.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Do I need to change how I pray? Am I spending too much time on "needs" and not enough time on asking for God's will and wisdom? (Praying for our needs makes us "self-focused." Praying for God's wisdom will always make us "others-focused.")
  2. Where in Scripture does God promise to give us His wisdom and understanding?
  3. Where does He stress the limitations of that understanding?
  4. When we can't understand, what do we rely on? Give Scripture.

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