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
Charles Finney, a nineteenth-century American evangelist, sometimes wrestled with what to say in prayer. One day an acquaintance of his fell deathly ill. She did not know Christ, and her husband asked Finney to pray for her. Finney immediately became burdened for the woman, but he did not know how to pray.
Finally, after grasping for the right words, Finney received a breakthrough. He said he “was enabled to roll the burden upon” God and that he immediately felt sure the woman would not die. Not long afterwards, the woman made a full recovery and committed her life to Christ.
Like Finney, we must intercede for others according to God’s will and believe in faith he will answer us (Hebrews 11:6).
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:
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.
Article drawn from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, NIV Edition.
During his many years of ministry, Dr. Charles Stanley has faithfully highlighted the 30 Life Principles that have guided him and helped him to grow in his knowledge, service, and love of God. This study Bible features thousands of verse notes and study features to help you explore each of these principles in depth and learn how to make them a part of your everyday life. Learn More