Col 1:9-14 Praying As a Kingdom Citizen

Colossians 1:9-14

As people who are “in Christ”, but “at Colossae” (that is, citizens of the world in which God has placed us, yet belonging elsewhere), every day, in fact, every moment, brings us to a point of decision: will I follow Jesus in what I am about to do, or in the decision that I am about to make, or in the way I treat other people? Or will I follow the ways of worldly wisdom?  Will I please God or myself and the people around me? And when we follow Jesus, we will find ourselves going “against the flow”.

Teaching us to pray

Now consider the content your prayers. Do you have a Kingdom-orientation? Would you say your prayer is about your needs, or God’s desires? We all tend to tip over towards the “Lord, help!” prayers, and, praise God, He is a good Father Who hears and answers our prayers. But Paul here models something different. Something Christ-centred; something firm and stable.

As Paul’s excitement for this church (as previously noted), spills out into a continual prayer for them, the heart of His concern is not that there would be more church members, or more consistent giving, or culture-engaging preaching. The Apostle’s deepest desire is that the faith, love, and hope, which are the root of a life in Christ, would flourish into an abundant harvest of spiritual fruit that is nourished by “spiritual wisdom and understanding”.

The Holy Spirit is teaching here that the road to producing truly “good” works, to being “strengthened with all power, … steadfastness and patience”, is paved with knowing God (“spiritual wisdom”). If you want to know God’s will you need to be transformed in your thinking (see Romans 12:2). No philosophy, technique, or expertise in any field is sufficient to bring you into an increasing (and intimate) knowledge of God your Saviour. Rather, it is the Word of God, taught to us by the Spirit of God, that enlivens the people of God to serve Him in every way, to follow Him against the flow of the world’s empty philosophies.

Christ-centred prayer leads to Christ-centred action.

A Critical Identity

All of this is possible for one reason: you have been qualified by the Father to share in the inheritance of the Kingdom! (This “Inheritance” consists in all the immeasurable value of God’s promises fulfilled.) Again, it is not your cleverness, ability, achievements, or strength of character, but the good pleasure of the Father that has brought you into the Kingdom of the beloved Son. In fact, you had to be rescued from the domain is darkness into which you were born – God had to step in a bring you out of the realm of Satan into the realm of Christ!

As a result, we have every reason to rejoice and give thanks to God! He has granted us redemption (rescue from slavery) by forgiving our sins and giving us a new identity: we are now “in Christ”! If you cling to Him in faith, keeping your heart on the sure hope of seeing Him in Heaven, while living with Him on earth, your will produce love and good works! You will have true wisdom and understanding and know God.

So what do Kingdom citizens pray for? Our prayers should cry out for the fullness of Christ, in Whom is all the treasure of the wisdom of God. Let us cling to Him and call on Him to fill us with His strength, and joy in His presence even in our trials in this world. Then we will learn how to please Him moment by moment, trusting Him more and more to lead us until we see Him face to face! That is the power to live life against the flow!

Do you have this hope? Do you cling to Christ in faith? Have you known the love of God Who has sent His Son to die for your sins? If you doubt today, call out to God! “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

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