For example, there's a great prayer to pray for yourself and your loved ones in Colossians 1:9-14 asking God to "give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding."
Verses 9-12 explain the purpose of this prayer:
1. So we'll live lives worthy of the Lord (Matthew 10:37-39).
2. So we'll please Jesus in every way (Ephesians 5:8-17).
3. So we'll bear fruit in every good work (Ephesians 2:10).
4. So we'll grow in knowledge of God (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
5. So we'll be strengthened with God's power (2 Corinthians 12:9).
6. So we'll have endurance, patience, and thankfulness (Romans 5:3-5).
And why do we want to pray for these? Because God "has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins." (Col.1:13-14)
Wow! If that doesn't knock your socks off, I'm not sure what will.
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Bible StudyLet's look at each of these 6 points:
1. Living lives worthy of God - What does this passage tell us about living a worthy life?
Matthew 10:37-39: Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
2. Finding out what pleases the Lord - How are we supposed to practice both caution and boldness in regard to evil deeds?
Ephesians 5:8-17: For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9 For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true. 10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” 15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.
3. Bearing fruit in good works - What does the following passage tell us about good works? How does it compliment Ephesians 2:8-10?
James 2:14-17: What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
4. Growing Knowledge of God - What are the results of growing in the knowledge of God:
2 Peter 1:2-3, 5-8: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. Strengthened with God's power - What did God tell Paul about His power when Paul asked God to remove the "thorn in his flesh"?
2 Corinthians 12:8-9: Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
6. Developing endurance, patience and gratefulness (perseverance, character, hope) - I've always loved the "stair steps" of this passage, starting with suffering and ending at the top of the stairs with hope that doesn't disappoint us.
Romans 5:3-5: we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Why not pray Paul's Colossians 1:9-14 prayer for yourself each day this week and study the passages above.
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com