Prayer For A Worthy Walk
“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; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;”
One chief reason why the Holy Spirit has placed on permanent record so many of the prayers of the apostle is that the saints of all succeeding ages might receive instruction from the. The subject matter of their petitions implies and denotes the following things. First, what they requested for the saints are the particular things which Christians in all ages are to especially desire, prize, and seek an increase of. Second, God alone can impart, sustain, and promote such blessings and graces. Third, we too should not only ask for these favours but must diligently strive to realize them. Prayer was never designed to excuse apathy, nor to relieve us of the discharge of our responsibility. We are insincere if we cry to God for certain things and do nothing ourselves to seek and secure them. To request more light from the Word or a fuller understanding of the divine will and not to continue diligently searching the Scriptures and meditating on its contents is reprehensible.
Prayer to Be Regulated by Special Needs
It has been pointed out in earlier chapters that in each instance the substance of the apostle’s prayer was regulated by the particular case or condition of each separate company of saints for which he [Paul] made supplication. This teaches us that one prayer is more pertinent and suitable to a Christian or a group of Christians at one time or circumstance than another. While having much in common, the various local churches of which we have any account in the New Testament differed in several respects: in their graces, trials, and failures, as the apostles did from one another. Though a like in essentials, they were dissimilar in circumstantials. The church at Colosse was no exception. Instead of its members being harassed by Judaizers, as were the Corinthians, they were in danger of being corrupted by the Gnostics. False teachers were seeking to rob the Corinthians of their liberty in Christ, while austere ascetics and subtle philosophers were endeavouring to deprive the Colossians of the simplicity which is in Christ. Indications of this are found in Colossians 2:4, 8, 18, 20-23. Paul therefore prayed here more concerning the practical aspect of the Christian life.
Paul Not the Planter of the Colossian Church
There is no clear and direct scriptural evidence that Paul was ever in Colossae, and still less that he founded the first Christian assembly there. The general testimony of antiquity favours the view that Epaphras sent by Paul from Ephesus was the one who carried the gospel to that city and organized its church. But the point is not one of any practical importance.
Though Paul was not the planter of this church, he was far from being indifferent to its welfare, nor did he make any difference between it and those he had personally founded. Those who had been converted under others were as dear to him as his own converts. Oh, for more of his large-heartedness.
His deep solicitude for the Colossians is evidenced by the trouble he took in writing this epistle to them. A careful reading of its contents makes it evident that it was penned in view of certain errors which extensively prevailed among the churches in that part of Asia Minor. Some knowledge – a general understanding at least – of those errors is necessary in order to correctly interpret some of the details of this epistle. Those errors consisted of a mixture of Grecian philosophy (2:4-8) and Jewish ceremonialism (2:16) – a type of Gnosticism which was really a Grecianized from of Oriental mysticism. The chief design of the apostle in this epistle was to assert the superior claims of Christianity over all philosophies, and its independence of the peculiar rites and customs of Judaism.