“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 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 of Light.” Colossians 1:9b-12
Paul’s prayer will never make it on the best seller list of throw pillows, trinkets, and T-shirts found at the local Christian bookstore. It can’t be squeezed onto a bracelet or a bumper sticker and be read without a magnifying glass. It won’t be found on the laundry list of most prayer meetings, because it doesn’t ask for health or wealth. Pray it anyway.
Paul rejoiced when Epaphras informed him of “your love in the Spirit.” (v. 8 ) He was thrilled to hear what God was doing in the lives of the Christians of Colossae. His investment had not been in vain. The fruit of his labor remained.
Paul said he had been praying for these loving people “since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints.” (v.4) Planting a seed in the lives of others spurred Paul to pray for the fruit of love to continue to grow.
Paul stated that the gospel, they had received was not a dead log of dogma, but a living tree “constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in your also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth.” (v. 6)
The Request now prayed by Paul, was for those who have received this fire of The Spirit to grow in grace until their faith glowed in a dark world as “saints of Light.”
He prayed for them to “be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” They already had a spark of love for God, and a love for the saints. Paul prayed to fan the flame, and to add fuel to the fire of The Spirit in the lives of these loving people.
Where there is the fruit of The Spirit, the love of Christ abounds. This love is vertical and horizontal. This love hungers for God, and embraces others. It is constantly growing, upward and outward. Anything less is imitation fruit, and an unbalanced expression of The Good News.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love….” Galatians 5:2
The Request is not a poetic hit list of platitudes. It is a prayer breathed intensely and strategically onto the lives of the early Christians to fan the flame, and fuel the fire in their hearts. Paul prayed for them to…
1. Be Filled
The knowledge of God’s will is the only guide to spiritual wisdom and understanding. There is a difference between skim milk, and rich cream. There is great danger in watering down the milk of The Word. Never settle for God-Lite.
2. Walk Worthy
The love relationship with Jesus is marked by a consistent walk with Him, not merely eloquent talk about Him. Walking in a manner worthy of the Lord “pleases Him in all respects.” It never pleases Him to have people talk about Him who have no interest in walking with Him.
3. Bear Fruit
The fruit and the root are inseparable. There are seasons when fruit is abundant. There are times when it is dormant. When it becomes non-existent, there has been a disconnection. The root never changes. The fruit is essential. When there is no fruit, prayer provides the fresh connection with The Root.
4. Inspect Fruit
There is a difference between good fruit and bad fruit. An abundance of the former can be impacted by contact with a small amount of the latter. Judge every good work by its capacity to produce the right fruit, not just make a great effort. Busy-ness can lead to barrenness. When it does, start praying and pruning.
5. Know God
Knowing God and knowing about God do not mean the same thing. A keen mind and a hot heart are crucial to knowing God and making Him known. To know Him and to make Him known flows from a personal experience with God’s love, not just a great education about it. Get a good education. Get over it. Get with God.
6. Grow Strong
God’s strength is perfected and released through the weakness of anyone who will admit they need “more of THEE and less of ME.”. Living on yesterday’s manna and reliving past victories are no match for the power of an enemy that feeds on prideful people.
7. Stand Firm
Standing firm and suffering long with a joyous spirit mark the Christian who has attained the maturity of a seasoned, battle-tested warrior. There is no panic at the sight of the enemy or the sound of battle. The prayer warrior closes ranks and draws near to The Champion for the duration of the conflict.
8. Give Thanks
The family of God is an amazing creation. The love of The Father poured out upon the lost world through The Son. This was a shock to Satan. The sacrifice of The Son satisfied The Father’s character, and qualified the children to share in the inheritance. They were no longer lost in the dark. Through the love of Jesus they became “The Saints in Light.”
Talking about the darkness falls short of thanking God for The Light. Let it shine! Let it shine! Let it shine! TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!