Epistle to the Colossians 1: 9-20 (NIV)
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
The Supremacy of Christ
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
This remarkable passage demonstrates the content of a prayer and presents a hymn or creed in praise of Jesus. There is no doubt that the Apostle Paul regarded Jesus to be pre-eminent in every respect. The claims he has made about Jesus in verses 15-20 are exclusive claims: nobody else matches Jesus; nobody else has done what Jesus has done. Consider these verses again; in them you will be able to find at least ten pointers to the uniqueness of the Son of God.
We focus in this reflection, however, on the content of Paul’s prayers (verses 9-14). These verses give us an excellent example of prayer – what to pray for and how to go about making our requests to God.
Wouldn’t you like to know that somebody was praying for you as Paul prayed for the church in Colossae, praying that:
- you would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will;
- you would gain spiritual wisdom and understanding;
- you would live a life worthy of the Lord;
- you may please him in every way;
- you would bear fruit in every good work;
- you would grow in the knowledge of God;
- you would be strengthened; and
- you would have great endurance and patience?
If you would like that to be prayed for you, would it not be appropriate for you to pray that for another today too? Perhaps verses 9-14 could guide and direct your prayers for a member (or members) of your staff or for a member of your family – even for your entire family. Perhaps you could pray verses 9-14 for yourself!
In whatever way we use verses 9-14 for prayer, we can do so in the confidence that we pray through the unique One, the pre-eminent One, the supreme One: Jesus Christ. We can do this because God “has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (verses 13-14).
So let us pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5: 17).