A Life-Changing Prayer: Colossians 1:9-12 NIV

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:

bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,

and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. —

Colossians 1:9-12

As an example to believers, Paul often included powerful prayers in his letters. We find one of them in Colossians 1:9 – 12. In seven requests, Paul covers every area of our lives that need the Lord’s daily touch. This is what spiritual growth looks like: How He wants us to live with wisdom and understanding and to be fruitful.

How can you tell if you’re growing spiritually? There are many different ways. But here Paul shows that you’re growing if you’re learning more and more through God’s Word how He wants you to live. And you’re growing if, as His child, you’re seeking to live as He wants you to live in order to please Him.

  1. May we be filled with the knowledge of his will through all wisdom and spiritual understanding (verse 9). Ask God to fill you with the spiritual discernment you need as you walk in his will and study his Word.
  2. May we live in a manner worthy of the Lord Jesus Christ (verse 10). Jesus lived a blameless life, exactly what we should pursue.
  3. May we please God in all respects (verse 10). Paul encouraged believers to live a life that honored God — always obeying him and excelling in their Christian walk.
  4. May we bear fruit in every good work (verse 10). A Christian’s life should have an eternal impact, and we should be influencing those around us for the sake of his kingdom.
  5. May we increasingly grow in the knowledge of God (verse 10). We should always be laying hold of a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord.
  6. May we be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might (verse 11). Ask God to empower you to do his will for his glory — and he will do it.
  7. May our lives express joyous thanks to the Father for his grace to us (verse 12). Our love for him should run so deep that we can’t help but give all the glory and honor to him. And those around us will rejoice in him as well.

Put It Into Practice

Who can you intercede for in prayer today? Take a moment right now to talk with God about them and believe in faith he hears and will answer.

Application Questions

What has helped you most to grow spiritually?
How would you help a struggling Christian who said, “How can I walk worthily of the Lord when I feel so unworthy?”
What should we do if we don’t feel like pleasing God? Is it hypocritical to obey when we don’t feel like it?
Spiritual growth often seems so slow. Is there any way to speed up the process? How?

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