I love reading the prayers of the Bible and am grateful God has given us these models in his Word. We have all been a part of prayer meetings that seemed to stray far from the Word. “Would you pray for my Aunt Flossie’s neighbor’s cat’s paw surgery next Tuesday?” Don’t get me wrong, it is fine to pray for our health, travel mercies, and even animals, but we learn from prayers like the one in today’s passage that our own prayers may need some adjustment!
- When is the last time you reflected on the content of your prayers?
READ THE WORD: COLOSSIANS 1:1-8 (ESV)
1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
- Why did Paul thank God for the Colossian believers (vss. 3-4)?
- What was the foundation of their faith and love (vss. 5-6)?
- How was hope the reason for their faith and love? How do those relate to one another?
- Does hope drive your faith and love? How so?
- How is the gospel bearing fruit among you and your “world”?
RESPOND TO GOD
When Paul prays, he gives thanks to God. He is grateful, not for health or worldly comfort or safe travels, but for the faith and love of the Colossians based upon the hope of the gospel and its universal spread. In tomorrow’s reading, he will pray and ask God for more of the same! I wonder if our prayers are more God-centered than people-centered. One can tell a lot about a person by what they ask for from God. May we be a people focused on him and his glory in the world.
- Thank God for the power of the gospel that continues to bear fruit and increase in us and around the world.
- Ask God to so consume you that your prayer life is more and more focused on him and his glory.