When I read the Bible, I underline verses, sentences, sometimes even single words that speak to me in that moment. Sometimes when I go back and read a passage of scripture again and again, I will underline entirely different parts of it until pretty soon the whole passage is underlined. That is what happened with part of the first chapter of Colossians. Paul is telling the church at Colosse how he and his travel partners have prayed for them and every time I read it I found another nugget that I could use in my own prayers for my family. Over time, the following passage ended up almost entirely underlined in my Bible.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may 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 joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – Colossians 1:9-14
Now I admit that if you just gloss over this passage of scripture it’s kind of hard to get it. It reads like one long, run-on sentence. But once you break it down into each of the parts that I ended up underlining over time – you can see how much is in there and what an awesome prayer it really is.
Paul starts with the proclamation: “we have not stopped praying for you”. The lesson here is pretty simple. Never underestimate the importance of persistent prayer! We all have situations in our lives or in the lives of our loved ones that we’ve been waiting a long time to see God move in. And the Bible assures us that God is moving. (Romans 8:28) Our job is to keep on praying. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
The passage continues with Paul telling them exactly what they have been praying continually for. That’s the part that became more and more underlined every time I read through it. There is a treasure trove of prayer requests there if you read it one little phrase at a time. I’ll share more in future posts, but I encourage you to read it for yourself and see what speaks to you.