TEXT: Colossians 1:1-14
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,
5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
7 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 320 messages in this series.
This is message #321 titled, How to Pray for the Good and Faithful Saints That You Don’t Know, Part 2.
In our message on last week, we went through a broad overview regarding the church at Colosse. We learned that this was a church that Paul had not started directly, but one that had been started as a by-product of his preaching in other cities in the area. Epaphras, one of the leaders of the Colossian church, visited Paul while he was in prison, in Rome. Paul had heard good things about this church, and this particular minister came bringing a good report. However, he also had some concerns regarding false doctrine that was infiltrating that local church body.
By way of further introduction and laying the groundwork, here is what Dr. Warren Wiersbe said about the danger this church was in from false teachers: “What was the heresy that threatened the peace and purity of the Colossian church? It was a combination of Eastern philosophy and Jewish legalism, with elements of what Bible scholars call gnosticism (NOS-ti-cism). This term comes from the Greek word gnosis (KNOW-sis), which means ‘to know.’ (An agnostic is one who does not know.) The gnostics were the people who were ‘in the know’ when it came to the deep things of God. They were the ‘spiritual aristocracy’ in the church.
“To begin with, this heresy promised people such a close union with God that they would achieve a ‘spiritual perfection.’ Spiritual fullness could be theirs only if they entered into the teachings and ceremonies prescribed. There was also a ‘full knowledge,’ a spiritual depth, that only the initiated could enjoy. This ‘wisdom’ would release them from earthly things and put them in touch with heavenly things.
“Of course, all of this teaching was but man-made philosophy based on traditions and not on divine truth. It grew out of the philosophical question, Why is there evil in this world if creation was made by a holy God? As these philosophers speculated and pondered, they came to the false conclusion that matter was evil. Their next false conclusion was that a holy God could not come into contact with evil matter, so there had to be a series of ’emanations’ from God to His creation. They believed in a powerful spirit world that used material things to attack mankind. They also held to a form of astrology, believing that angelic beings ruled heavenly bodies and influenced affairs on earth.
“Added to these Eastern speculations was a form of Jewish legalism. The teachers believed that the rite of circumcision was helpful in spiritual development. They taught that the Old Testament law, especially the dietary laws, was also useful in attaining spiritual perfection. Definite rules and regulations told them what was evil and what was good.
“Since to them, matter was evil, they had to find some way to control their own human nature in this pursuit of perfection. Two different practices resulted. One school of thought held that the only way to conquer evil matter was by means of rigid discipline and asceticism. The other view taught that it was permissible to engage in all kinds of sin, since matter was evil anyway! It appears that the first opinion was the predominant one in Colosse.
“It is easy to see how this kind of teaching undermined the very foundations of the Christian faith. To begin with, these heretics attacked the person and work of Jesus Christ. To them, He was merely one of God’s many ’emanations’ and not the very Son of God come in the flesh. The Incarnation means God with us, but these false teachers claimed that God was keeping His distance from us!”
In this mini-series in the Praying Through the Bible Series, we will not get much into Paul’s refuting of the false doctrine threatening the church at Colosse. We will be focusing on verses 9-14 of chapter 1 in which Paul expresses the many things he prays for on behalf of the Colossian believers that he did not even know. One thing that we will notice is that Paul’s prayers are largely positive. He has heard many good things about the church at Colosse. And his prayers are for the church to keep going in the direction that they have been going and not get sidetracked by false teachings.
Paul and his associates received a good report from the Colossian minister Epaphras about this local church body. He calls the believers “faithful brethren” and says that he is “giving thanks” for their faith in Christ, their love for other believers, the hope they have in Heaven, and the fruit that is being produced in their lives. So, his prayer for these believers is a joyous thing. Through his example, we see the things that we should pray for on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ. And we see a reflection of how we should live so that when others pray for us, they can go to God, not with a heavy heart, but with a heart full of thanksgiving and praise.
Joseph Scriven wrote:
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.