Prayer With a Purpose

Jesus Christ prayed for you as noted in John 14. If Jesus prayed for us, we should pray for one another. 

Paul prayed what might be considered a model prayer for one another in Colossians 1:9-11. This prayer embodies two great requests:

(1) For an understanding of God’s will, and

(2) For the power to do it.

Prayer is not so much trying to make God listen to us as it is us trying to listen to Him. 

It might be described like a ship docking. The ship’s mooring rope is thrown over the docking post on the wharf, not to draw the wharf to the ship, but to draw the ship to the dock. Prayer is not an attempt to convert God to our will, but to draw us to His will. This prayer includes a request for …

* Knowledge of God’s Will. (vv. 9-10)   His will is revealed in His Word. Knowledge is God’s will for our general moral conduct, perception of spiritual values, and priorities basic to a Christ pleasing life.

* Wisdom is the knowledge of the best way of attaining God’s will.

* Understanding. Ability to apply first principles. It is the conversion of comprehension into conduct.

This prayer contained an appeal to be real. (vv. 10-11a)

“To walk” is a summary expression for lifestyle. Let your lifestyle be —

“Worthy” (axios) as used means “having the weight of another thing.”  The picture is of a set of balancing scales. Christ is the counterbalance against which your life is to be measured. The more nearly the scale is balanced the more “fully pleasing it is to Him.” To do this you must be —

“strengthened” (dunamoo) meaning to have the inherent power to do, to be made strong. To accomplish this God gives “power” (kratos). You have a certain inherent strength which is motivated by His manifested strength.

Therefore, don’t just hope for the best while thinking the worst. Your thoughts are the architects of your deeds. God Himself wants to be the builder.

Such a lifestyle results in three virtues. (v. 11b)

* Patience, under trial (hupomone), with things and circumstances. This is the ability to deal triumphantly with anything life throws at you. It is not the kind of patience that just sits with head bowed and lets life roll over you like a tidal wave. It is the ability to turn them into your good and His glory.

* Longsuffering, under provocation (makrothumia) of people. This is the ability to bear people’s maliciousness and bitterness. It is the mental ability not to give vent to passionate violence. It is brave patience. 

* Joy. This results from a heart at peace with itself because of a preoccupation with Christ. It refers to a buoyant sense of mastery.

Having read this, now go back and study it, asking for these qualities.