Colossians

How to Pray for Others



How to Pray for Others

It’s been said before that prayer is a window into the soul. What we pray about most, we care about most. We pray for the things that concern us. And likewise, the matters we don’t address in prayer are the things we care little about. That’s a sobering reality isn’t it? Because I can tell you how much something means to me - how important it is - but if I never bring it to the Lord in prayer, do I really care about it? We tend to pray most about that which we care about most.

 So as we come to Paul’s prayer for the church at Colossae, we can assume that what he is praying on their behalf is what he cares about most. More than anything else, this is what he wants for this church. As the passage was read for us this morning, you probably noticed that Paul’s prayer did not include a request for financial well being, physical health, safety in traveling, or for the Colossian kids to get into a good college. Now, it’s not that those things aren’t important. I’m not trying to dissuade you from praying about those things. But I would argue that those things are less important than what Paul is praying for in this first chapter of Colossians. This is a prayer that is so rich, that it should form the fabric of our prayers for one another. It should inform the way we pray for fellow believers, spouses, children, and oneself.

 I hope we understand that one of the reasons why every person in this church has a ministry, is because every one of us can pray. You and I can play a role in the spiritual growth of other people, even without seeing or speaking to them. Even when we don’t know the specific circumstances a person is facing or how they’re doing, we can still pray for them in the same way that Paul is praying for this church. Often people will ask me how they can be praying for me. And normally there are a couple current things that I certainly wouldn’t mind intercession for. But more than anything else, I need you to pray for me what Paul prays for the believers at Colossae. And you need to know, that this is my constant prayer for you.

 What we’re going to see in this passage is that the most important prayer for the church is that believers would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, and as a result live in a such a way that pleases Him. The most important prayer you can offer up for others, is that they would know and please God. And you have to keep in mind that Paul is working from the viewpoint that Christ is the supreme center of the universe. And when we recognize that - when we view all things through the lens of Christ death, burial, and resurrection- our prayers are going to reflect that.

Grounds for Gratitude




Grounds for Gratitude

What does it look like to live with Jesus at the center? If I could choose one over arching question that the book of Colossians answers, it would be just that. In your life, what does it look like for Jesus to be at the very center of all things? Let’s be honest for a moment. Many of us have heard, or used, the phrase Christ-centered. It’s become a bit of a cliche. Churches put it in their mission statement. Christian authors put it in the title of their book. But what does it actually mean? Colossians helps us answer that question. But Colossians also shows us what it looks like. That’s why I chose to call this series “Jesus Shaped Living.” The glorious truths of Jesus give shape to how we live - our attitudes, our actions, life inside the home and outside the home, ministry and everything else.

 Of course, it’s a lot easier to talk about Christ being at the center than to live that way, isn’t it? In the mundane moments of everyday life, a whole host of other things compete with Christ for center stage in our lives. And so my aim, and my prayer, for our study in Colossians is that we make the connection between what we know to be true about Jesus, and how we live. That we would recognize that Jesus is not someone we place at the center, but he is the center. And that the shape of our lives would reflect the incomparable nature of Christ Jesus