In a previous article we looked at the background of the book of Colossians and unpacked some of the thoughts in verses 1 to 8 of the first chapter. Continuing on from verses 9 onwards we read:
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,[c] the forgiveness of sins.
Paul having heard of the signs of the genuine conversion to Christ of these people at Colosse (namely their “love in the Spirit” and “faith” – see v2-8) says he started to pray without ceasing for the people.
I noticed in the Book of Colossians that when Paul heard of the signs of genuine conversion in that place (love in the Spirit) that got him moving and STARTING a continual prayer for these people. Sometimes when we think we finally got some evangelistic results we STOP praying and start goofing off. No, results means it is time to START praying for the people.
Prayer is love on its knees. Our prayers for new converts can make a huge difference. Paul knew that and so he did something about it.
What did Paul pray for New Christians?
Paul prayed that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual understanding. That is a mouthful. What does it mean?
To me it suggests that it is very important for new Christians to KNOW God’s will. Some things can be known from reading and understanding the Scriptures. Other things that are particular to a specific person can be known by special revelation given by the Holy Spirit. What do I mean by this? The Bible won’t tell you specifically who to marry, what your specific calling is, what job to take, or things like that. The only way to know these things is to do what is clearly revealed in the Scriptures already, and also to press in to God for knowledge given by the Holy Spirit. The peace of God you experience in relation to a certain thing is usually a good subjective guide to God’s will for your life. All this depends of the fellowship of the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit sharing things with you – and this is probably why Paul used the words “in all spiritual understanding”. We need to go into the school of the Holy Spirit so we can be FILLED with the knowledge of God’s will. The word “filled” here implies it might be possible to have only a hazy or incomplete knowledge of God’s will for your life. And obviously if this is the case, it will affect your heart, capability, fruitfulness and many other things. We should aim to have a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. But people’s prayers for you can make a difference here. That is why Paul did this and why you and I should also.