Prayer Is The Fuel For Spiritual Body Building
9 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, 10 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, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 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. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Everywhere you look in scripture, people are praying. They are praying to worship God in praise. They are praying to petition God for assistance. They are praying for God’s will to come about. And here, Paul and Epaphras are praying that the seed that was planted in the church body located at Colossi would flourish.
Prayer is the fuel and only offensive weapon we have in our spiritual warfare:
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Jesus definitively recognized that His disciples should pray. Notice the words He uses when He talks about prayer:
5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Jesus doesn’t say, “If you pray…”, or, “Should you decide to pray…”, or, “Perhaps you should pray…”. Jesus says, “…when you pray…”. One of the reasons that we are so weak is that we are not doing what our body-building trainer tells us to do – P R A Y!
In this passage, there are several tips to successful spiritual body-building. And just as Earthly body-builders need to practice and have workouts to keep their physical bodies in top shape, spiritual body-builders need to complete their workouts to keep their spiritual lives in top shape. God is all about relationship. Prayer is communication, which is a vital part of the relationship process.
Here are some of the tips and tricks provided to us to up our game in spiritual body-building from Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ:
- Ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives
- Do the above so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way by:
- Be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
- Grow great endurance
- Grow great patience
- Give joyful thanks to the Father for what He has done and is doing in your life.
Dominion of Darkness
Before God the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus Christ to us, we were in the dominion of darkness. Satan was our father, for our deeds were evil and we neither sought out God, nor gave Him glory. The world, the flesh, and the devil were our constant companions and our advisors. We were born with a sin nature passed down to us from Adam. It’s no wonder that we were slaves in bondage to sin.
Crown of Christ
Jesus came to rescue us from our bondage to sin and from sin itself, and reconcile us to the Father. When we confessed Jesus Christ as Lord, we were moved into the Kingdom of Light. We have been adopted as children into the family of God. Jesus is our brother; we are his brothers and sisters.
This seems very basic, but it has profound meaning and implication in our lives. No longer are we prohibited from experentially and relationally knowing God. No longer do we look in confusion or bewilderment at who God is; God is revealing Himself to us through His Son in His word and through the Holy Spirit who indwells us.
To those who have been given much, much is expected. How much has God given you?
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I being faithful in my spiritual body-building exercises?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, the knowledge that You have adopted me into Your family is too wonderful for me to comprehend. Just as an orphan is stunned after being adopted into a loving family, I am still stunned as I ponder the implications of being adopted into Your family. You have done great and mighty things on and for my behalf. You have given me an eternal future with You, access to You in Your throne room any time I need or just want to be there, and you have given me access to the royal treasury by blessing me with every spiritual blessing in Christ. You have said that to those who have been given much, more is expected. Father, what do you expect of me? Show me that I may do all that you desire for me to do and become in gratitude for all that You have done for me. Help me to remember my brothers and sisters in Christ, and pray fervently for them that they would be built up in Christ. Give me Your love, so that it will be on display for all to see. Help me to yield myself to you completely. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.