Summary: Part of a series in Colossians, sharing through Paul’s encouraging prayer for the church in Colossae.

A prayer for all seasons – Colossians 1:9-14

By James Galbraith

First Baptist Church, Port Alberni

September 16, 2007


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.


Last week we were introduced to the early church in ancient Colossae. We learned that Colossae itself was a diminishing city – once great but now slowly crumbling.

The church there was new, and composed of a mixture of Jewish and Greek converts to Christianity. The apostle Paul has written this letter to them to correct some errors that have crept into their church, but before he tackles these problems he introduces himself and affirms that they share a common hope through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

He now shares with them a powerful prayer that touches upon all the important elements of their faith. It is my goal this morning to work though this prayer, so that we can have a model to work from when we pray for each other.

Before we dig into the meat of this prayer, let’s consider this story:


In a seminary missions class, Herbert Jackson told how, as a new missionary, he was assigned a car that would not start without a push.

After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off.

As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.

Ill health forced the Jackson family to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When Jackson proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood.

Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, "Why, Dr. Jackson, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable." He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.

For two years needless trouble had come become a routine. The power was there all the time. Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting the power to work.

J.B. Phillips paraphrases Ephesians 1:19-20, "How tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God." When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us.

Prayer is an essential part of that vital connection,

and it is a prayer that is at the heart of our passage today.

VS. 9 – Praying for you

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.

“For this reason”, attaches what we’re going to see with what’s already been said.

Paul had encouraged them that they are part of something big,

the spreading of the gospel,

and that they can have hope because of the God behind the message.

It is their bond in the gospel message that prompts Paul to pray for them – they are brothers and sisters in Christ even though they’ve never met.

That still rings true today – when we join the Christian faith through our commitment to Jesus Christ, we enter a family of millions, most of whom we’ll never see.

“Heard about” - even though Paul and Timothy have never met these people in Colossae, they pray for them constantly

And their prayer is so insightful, caring, deliberate, comprehensive

(and short!)

- “not stopped” doesn’t mean they are babbling over and over again

- Jesus warns against this in Matt. 6:7

7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans,

for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

- it means persistent, targeted prayer

- same kind of prayer that brought the Iron Curtain down and continues to shake the world

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