The following is a recap of material covered on Sunday Evening January 15th at Solomon’s Porch. Our current Study Series is in the Book of Colossians. We worship in the Library at Lighthouse Christian Fellowship from 6 to 7 pm on the 1st and 3rd Sunday on each month.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit.
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. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Most pastors would think their ministry was over if they were put under house arrest. I mean how could we ever build the Kingdom without access to a Starbucks, right? The Apostle Paul however didn’t let it get him down. He started a letter writing campaign to the churches. He even wrote letters to folks he’d never met, to people he had only heard were believers, like those that formed the Church in Colossae. Paul’s friend, Epaphras, a leader in the early church in Asia Minor, had come to visit. He came to bring a report about the state of the Churches in Asia. The Church in Colossae got a mixed report. A lot of the letter is going to be instructive, and in those instructions we can divine that all was not well. But Paul doesn’t jump right out of the gate and start hammering away. He starts off by doing something simple, that I believe had a profound effect on the people Paul ministered to…….he told them how much he prayed for them. Below are some hints to help us be more Gospel oriented in our prayers for others based on what Paul prayed for the Colossian Church.
- Paul gave thanks for the faith in Gospel that these believers possessed. I know sometimes our brothers and sisters do things that are inconsistent with the Gospel, but so do we. It helps us avoid developing a judgmental spirit if we begin by just thanking God for the Faith our beloved companions in the Gospel possess.
- Paul also gave thanks for the love they possessed for all the saints. Think about a kind word or a loving act the person you are praying for has done in the past that you have either been the recipient of, witnessed, or maybe even just heard about. (like Paul) Give thanks for the love they possess for the saints.
- Think about their reward in heaven, the inheritance that you both have in the Gospel.
- Pray that the Gospel would continue to bear fruit in them. Galatians 5:22,23 lists the fruit of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 lists the characteristics of love. These are great passages to pray over others.
- Pray that God would give them a knowledge of His will
- Pray that God would give them spiritual wisdom (James 1:5)
- Pray that God would strengthen them in their souls according to His glorious power
- Pray that God would give them endurance, patience, and joy
While much of our prayers for others generally consist of physical needs, Pau’ls prayers were filled with spiritual needs. Learning to pray Gospel prayers is learning to look out into the world with spiritual eyes and see the real needs of others. The real needs of the human heart are met in the Gospel and as Paul prays for those Gospel needs he is caught up a bit in the reality and rapture of the Gospel which sparks another round of thanksgiving.
giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
As we remember the real needs of others, beginning to learn to see with the spiritual eyes of faith, the Gospel of God our Savior grows ever more precious, and the things we pray for others we begin to see accomplished also in ourselves.