Summary: Praying that pleases God leads to living a life that is pleasing to God and brings glory to our God.
PRAYING THAT PLEASES GOD--Colossians 1:9-14
Proposition: Praying that pleases God leads to living a life that is pleasing to God and brings glory to our God.
Objective: My purpose is to challenge God’s people to pray prayers that please God that will lead to living a life that is pleasing to Him.
60 years ago a young missionary named Raymond Edman staggered in from an Ecuadorian jungle, desperately ill. "He’ll be dead by morning," the doctor predicted. Edman’s wife dyed her wedding dress black, so it would be ready for the funeral. (In the tropics funerals must be held immediately). However, 1000s of miles away in Boston, Edman’s friend Dr. Joseph Evans, interrupted a prayer meeting, saying, "I feel we must pray for Ray Edman in Ecuador." The group prayed earnestly, until Evans called out, "Praise the Lord! The victory is won!" The rest is oft-repeated history: V. Raymond Edman recovered, his wife’s dress did not, & Dr. Edman went on to become president of Wheaton College, & to minister for another forty years! This story unforgettably affirms the power of intercessory prayer. We ask: how are we to pray for the church & for other members of the body of Christ? Paul’s prayer for this church teaches us how to pray for other believers. Paul thanked God for their faith in Christ, their love for all the saints & their hope laid up in heaven. His thanksgiving overflowed in a prayer that can be a model for our own praying.
What is it that pleases God? The Bible states that “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek” (Heb. 11:6) Being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. This is how we can have a worthy walk. Paul states that he is praying that the Colossian Christians may live a life that is pleasing to God. A life that is pleasing to God results in a fruit bearing life. Also, a life that pleases God is one that yearns to know God better. One way to come to know God better is through prayer. Also, a life that pleases God is a life that is lived gratefully and our coming to Him in prayer pleases God. A speaker was urging a group of youth to serve God. He was asked by a young girl, “Sir, I should like to know how we can be Christian and have our own way?” Paul says, “My concern for you is that you should want God’s way instead of your way.”
I. A DESIRE FOR SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION (v. 9) “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will…and spiritual understanding”-- The false teachers of Colossae offered these Christians a new and fuller knowledge. But Paul says, the knowledge I’m concerned that you have is that you might be filled with a full knowledge of God’s will.
1. The reason for prayer (v. 9a) “for this reason”— This in vvs. 3-8 shows that the petitionary prayer is Paul’s response to the news which comes to him of the Colossian’s experience in Christ. This prayer is because of their faith in Christ, their love to all the saints, & the good hope they had of eternal happiness; & because they had heard the Gospel, truly knew it & sincerely professed it.
2. The reality of prayer (v. 9b) “do not cease to pray for you”—Paul’s praying was constant at the throne of grace; & as often as they were there, they were mindful of these Colossians, even ever since they heard of their reception of the Gospel, of their profession of it & of the fruit it brought forth in them; & in their petitions "prayed" & "desired," earnestly & entreated God on their behalf.
3. The requests of prayer (v. 9c) “to ask that you” The Colossians had knowledge, but they must have more; it is their privilege to be filled with it. Paul took every occasion and opportunity for prayer. He has heard that they were good & he prays that they might be better.
1). Information “the knowledge of His will”-- Remember that what ’’fills’’ you will control you...both your actions & your reactions. Are you letting the Word of Christ richly dwell within you (Col 3:16) so that you might be controlled by the will of God in the Word of God as taught by the Spirit of God?
2). Instruction “in all wisdom”-- Wisdom is the insight into the true nature of things. Knowledge is the mental possession of powers of perceiving objects, wisdom is the power of right reasoning concerning them and forming right decisions accordingly. Wisdom is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. Illus: "Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom." (Spurgeon)