And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to HIm. Colossians 1:9-10a
Most of the time my prayers do not sound like Paul’s prayers. But when I really want to see someone grow in their Christian life, I borrow these words. They really distill what we need to have to make it spiritually. And when I’m stuck on how to pray for myself, I do the same. Let’s take his prayer apart:
Being filled with the knowledge of God’s will. According to quora.com, the average adult makes around 35,000 choices a day. Just try to order a sandwich from “Subway” and you’ll notch about 30 choices. It would be really nice to get a little note from God with our directions for the day. Instead of getting that, we get the Holy Spirit who is always with us to guide us. God, direct me today so I know I’m doing what You want me to do.
In all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Just this last week I encountered a situation with a difficult parent where I needed God’s wisdom regarding how to respond to her bullying and berating. I asked God for understanding what she really is angry at and how to stop butting heads with her. God is not like a magic eight ball that gives immediate answers, but I trust that He will speak ideas into my heart and mind as I proceed. Take your most difficult situation that is facing you and ask God for His wisdom and understanding.
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord. In the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” the character played by Tom Hanks, Captain Miller, dies in his mission to save Private Ryan, the only son left in his family. James Ryan went back to Normandy to Captain Miller’s grave. Ryan stood by his grave and said, My family is with me today. They wanted to come with me. To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel coming back here. Every day, I think about what you said to me that day on the bridge. I’ve tried to live my life the best I could. I hope it was enough. I hope that at least in your eyes I’ve earned what all of you have done for me.” (From http://www.thesource4ym.com/movieclipdiscussions)
We don’t have to earn anything related to what Jesus has done for us. That’s what grace is all about. Private Ryan felt a strong gratitude and had a sense of purpose in life because of the sacrifice made for him. We need to live our lives with a different purpose and sense of value because we know that Jesus gave up His life for us.
Fully pleasing to Him. If we do something that God instructs us to do, then we’ll be pleasing to Him. That’s what obedience is. If we don’t do something that we know God has commanded us not to do, the same is true. If you want to please God, obey Him. That’s what Samuel told King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold to obey is better than sacrifice.”
May you be filled with the knowledge of God’s will today, along with gaining wisdom and understanding from His Holy Spirit who is at work in you. May God direct your steps and give you ideas, creativity and skill that comes from Him. May you walk differently because you belong to Jesus, being filled with gratitude because of His sacrifice for you. And may you please God by being obedient to Him. May you turn from sinful ways and delight in doing things God’s way.