A Comprehensive Apostolic Prayer
Colossians 1:9-12
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you…

It was —


1. Suggested by the report of active Christian virtues. "For this cause." They had believed in Christ, loved the brethren, hoped for the future, borne fruit. All this excites Paul's grateful heart to pray for higher blessings for them. We best show our love for others by prayer. That is always needed since Christian vows are imperfect and may decay or be abused.

2. Constant and fervent. "Do not cease." Paul had undoubted faith in the efficacy of prayer.


1. The main subject of this knowledge. Man thirsts for knowledge, but the highest is the knowledge of God; not simply of His nature, but His will.

2. The measure in which the knowledge may be possessed. The word indicates a living, complete knowledge of the Divine will. There is no limit to our increase in Divine knowledge but our own capacity, diligence, and faith.

3. The practical form in which the knowledge should he exercised. "In all wisdom and spiritual understanding." The word spiritual applies to both wisdom and understanding. The false teachers offered a wisdom which had only a show of it; an empty counterfeit calling itself philosophy. The wisdom and understanding the gospel imparts are the work of the Holy Spirit. No amount of mental or moral culture can supply it. This was the power lacked by the Galatians, and to save the Colossians from their fate Paul prays that they may discern between the true and the false, the carnal and the spiritual.


1. The high standard of Christian conduct. For this purpose we are filled with the knowledge of His will. The end of knowledge is practice.

2. The rule by which that standard is maintained. We are not to please ourselves or others as an ultimate object. If our conduct does please parents, friends, country as well as God, it is well; but though all others are displeased we must please Him. This is the simplest as well as the grandest rule of life, and will settle many perplexing questions of human duty.

3. The productiveness of Christian consistency. It is not enough to bear one kind of fruit; there must be fertility in "every" good work. The Christian is in sympathy with and will promote every enterprise that aims at the physical, social, or moral welfare of man.

4. Progress in Divine knowledge. We can recall no stage in which additional knowledge is unnecessary. Activity in goodness sharpens the knowing faculty and adds to the stores of wisdom, and increased knowledge stimulates the worker (John 7:17; Matthew 25:29).


1. The appropriateness and fulness of the blessing desired. Man is morally weak by sin. Christ introduced another force which counteracts sin and will overthrow it. All who believe in Him have this force and it is necessary to realize the blessings for which Paul prays. Our enemies are numerous and our infirmities are many. We need, therefore, every kind of strength to endure onslaught or solicitation.

2. Its supernatural source, "might of His glory." Moral power is not native to the Christian. Power is an attribute of God's glory, and is manifested in the splendid works of creation.

3. Its great practical purpose. Patience is the temper which does not easily succumb under trial: long-suffering, or long-mindedness, is the self-restraint which does not hastily retaliate a wrong. Patience respects the weight of the affliction: long-suffering its duration. The former is exercised in our relation to God, the latter in our relation to man. The true strength of the believer consists, not so much in what he can do, as in what he can endure (Isaiah 30:15). The characteristic of both patience and long-suffering is "Joyfulness." To suffer with joyfulness is the great distinction and triumph of the Christian spirit: The endurance of the stoic was often the effect of pride or insensibility.Learn:

1. How sublime are the topics of genuine prayer.

2. Deep experimental acquaintance with the things of God is essential to a lofty and useful career.

3. Knowledge, wisdom, spiritual fertility and strength are the gifts of God.

(G. Barlow.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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;

WEB: For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don't cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

Fruitful in Every Good Work
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