Welcome to the Table!
We cracked open a new bottle of sauce this week: The book of Colossians.
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Though strangers in faith, Paul gushes over the Colossian church and their heart for others.
He then opens into an epic prayer (you can listen to it here)…
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way…
Colossians 1:9-10 (NIV)
If we adopted this prayer’s heart and focus as a natural part of the Christian life, it would change the world.
Let me repeat: This prayer would not only change you, it would change the world.
Paul is asking God “continually” for the spiritual growth of the Colossian church. It’s a not a one-time mention. It’s not a moment of “good vibes” or “sending kind thoughts.”
Instead, Paul saturates his life with this prayer.
It’s a part of his daily routine.
What if this kind of prayer for other believers saturated your life? How would it shape the way you see Christians who are different from you?
To be honest, me-centered thoughts often crowd my mind before thinking of others. When I pray, my family's needs pop-in first.
But, developing the habit of other-centered prayers, changes the individual's heart and those they are praying for. And whether or not it changes us, the continual prayer for others aligns our hearts with Jesus, the only mediator between us and God.
Paul is not praying for his fame, fortune, safety, or security. He is praying for others to be filled in “all the wisdom and understanding” of God.
This prayer is other-centered. It forces the person of faith to truly focus on others needs in the Lord instead of their own.
Also, let us watch out for those passive-aggressive prayers…
- Lord, let them see the error of their ways.
- Lord, thank goodness I’m not like those people.
We have to beware of negative “other” language. Words which deflect, scapegoat, or hate others. And they always face in a destructive or self-righteous direction.
Those kinds of prayers reveal our heart, showing when we’ve lost sight of the Gospel. As well, they highlight hard spots developing in our empathy for others.
Paul’s prayer challenges us to be other-centered, putting others needs ahead of our own.
Pauls recurring prayer for the Colossians is not a long list. He prays they will be filled with all the wisdom of God so they can “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.”
In the end, this is what we all want, right? To lead a life worth of Christ. To please God. And so, Paul's prayer is focused on this purpose.
Let us adopt Paul’s mindset and drive to serve others and the Gospel.
Let us pray boldly with other-centered hearts.
Let us pray earnestly for others to be transformed by the wisdom of Christ.
Is there a sweeter, holier, more dignified task?
A musical prayer for you…