Week 2: Colossians 1:3-14
Faith in Jesus Christ transforms us. God brings us out of the domain of darkness and places us in the kingdom of his Son whom he loves. Our faith in Jesus brings about a renewing of our minds, filling us with the knowledge of his will and spiritual wisdom. By walking with Christ each day, we become rooted and built up in him, established in our faith. Believing the truth of the gospel protects us from false teaching and impacts every area of our lives. Paul begins his letter to the Colossians with a rich and meaty prayer. It is a prayer of thanksgiving for what he has heard about God’s work in the lives of the Colossians. It is also a prayer of intercession, asking God to bring further growth and maturity. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians is still right on target for believers today. God’s desire is for us to keep growing and maturing in him. His prayer helps us to see what this ongoing transformation in Christ looks like.
Are you more inclined to pray for someone when things are going wrong or when things are going right? Why do you think that is?
Getting into the Text:
1. (Colossians 1:3-8) Paul begins his prayer with thanksgiving for what he has heard about God’s work in the Colossians’ lives. What specific things does he call attention to? What was it that Paul’s readers learned from Epaphras? How was their learning and receiving from him more than just an intellectual kind of learning?
2. (Colossians 1:9-10a) Here Paul moves from reflection on the past to his prayer for the present and future. What would you say is motivating Paul’s prayer for the Colossians? Do you pray for others with this same motivation? How is the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding Paul talks about important for living a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him?
3. (Colossians 1:10b-12a) In these verses Paul gives four helpful marks of a mature and growing faith in Christ:
a. Bearing fruit in every good work
b. Increasing in the knowledge of God
c. Living with endurance, patience, and joy because of an inner strength fueled by God’s power
d. Giving thanks
How is each of these qualities something that can grow and improve regardless of how long you have been a believer? Which of these do you see God developing in your own life right now?
4. (Colossians 1:12b-14) Paul concludes his prayer by reminding the Colossians of some of the things God has done for them already. Are any of these actions on God’s part dependent on our performance or growth in the four areas listed in question 3 above? How are these words reassuring for you as you think about your spiritual growth?
1. Paul prays for the Colossians to be completely filled with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding so that they can know God’s will and do God’s will. How do you need to grow in your knowledge of what God thinks and wants? What next steps can you take to pursue that growth?
2. Paul prays for God to grant spiritual growth because he knows that spiritual growth comes about as a result of the work of God’s spirit. For which of the four areas of ongoing transformation do you need the most prayer right now? Who else could you also be praying for?