Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear what God is saying to you.
Colossians 1:9-14 (NRSV)
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
What strikes you first about today’s reading? For me, it’s the extremes: we have never stopped praying for you; we are continually asking God to bless you. The words all and every leap off the page.
Lest we get too comfortable and complacent, we are reminded in this short passage about prayer that the power of “darkness” and the kingdom of “light” are both forces with which to be reckoned. We know, of course, that God wins, but these words are ones of struggle. Rescue and redemption, patient endurance, power and strength are on display.
In the midst of it all is a deep concern that our lives bear fruit; that we do those things that please God; that we cultivate gratitude for God’s blessings;…and that we never forget who we are—and whose we are. We are the rescued, the redeemed, and the forgiven. We are the improbable inheritors of God’s “family fortune”—and Paul prays we’ll live like it.
This prayer is one of radical belief and all-in commitment. I’m breaking into a sweat just reading it. Living it? Well, that’s going to take a sort of insight and perspective that only God can give.
Lord, strengthen me—
body, mind, and soul—
for the challenges of this day
as only you can.
Lord, open me—
eyes, ears, and heart—
to experience the blessings of this day
as only you can.
Go with God.