Paul had a great spirit of encouragement: he had not met the Christians who lived in Colossae, but he had prayed daily for them and he prayed not so much for their daily health issues, but for their spiritual welfare and benefit and growth. Let's summarise his Prayers: 1. He asked God to give the fellowship complete knowledge of God's will! Remember that Jesus lived entirely to do His Father's will and His sinlessness was a consequence of His complete obedience to His Father. We have the potential to walk in this way too! 2. He asked God for their spiritual understanding and wisdom. These are the times when God gives us the ability to take a step back from a situation and to see it in the way He sees it. Pray this for yourself and for others. 3. He prayed that they would be strengthened by God's power. Paul knew what lay ahead: persecution, separation, possibly martyrdom. We read these books written by Paul in the peace of our lounges in a country which hasn't seen invasion for centuries: he wrote them in prison, awaiting death, or whilst travelling through perilous conditions and living in an occupied country. It was vital that these young believers should experience God's supernatural power! We need it as much, but for different reasons: we need the power of God to lift the dull light that scarcely burns within, we need the power of God to give us strength to stand radically and counter-culturally against the materialism which otherwise would consume our souls, we need the power of God to remind us experientially that our God reigns: God isn't dead! 4. He prays for joy for them. The Christian life is one of ethical and moral obedience to a higher Law, but supremely, it is a living, loving, joyous relationship with the God who loves us and gave Himself for us. The wonder of that will fill us with joy and enable us to live abundantly, as Jesus promised. 5. He prays that they may live lives of thankfulness. Gratitude is one of the keys to living in Christ: we celebrate Communion together, we thank God at the start of each day for all that He has poured out upon us and we are thankful as we go about our days-thankful for the busyness and hectic nature of them or thankful for the peace and quiet. Don't feel guilty for all the blessings you receive, unless they have come your way because others have paid the price, but a spirit of gratitude enables us to see that nothing is ours and we can give freely to bless others.
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