Open Your Bible
Colossians 1:1-14, Psalm 1:1-3, Matthew 24:14, 1 John 3:1-2
Our weekly company meetings always include prayer on the agenda—a true perk of working at a faith-based company. During that time, we pray for each other and for those who are connected to us, our family and friends. We also pray for all those who might be reached by what we do, including our fellow believers. The New Testament has no shortage of verses instructing us to pray for one another. And in Paul’s letter to the Colossians, the apostle shows us something else we should do when we go to God on behalf of one another.
Many times, when I read Paul’s letters, I’m tempted to dismiss the opening verses as mere greetings. But all of God’s Word is for us, and the content of Paul’s greeting to the Colossians prompts us to do more than just pray for our fellow believers. We ought to celebrate their faith and give thanks for them.
In chapter 1, Paul communicates to the Colossians that he and Timothy “always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” (Colossians 1:3). Even though Paul had not met the Colossian believers face to face, he prayed for them and thanked God for them. Why? Because of their faith and the love they expressed toward the saints because of the gospel (v.4).
We are far removed from the first century, but Jesus’s good news of salvation has continued to spread throughout the world, as He said it would, and it has continued to produce fruit (Matthew 24:14; Colossians 1:6). Praying for other believers helps us to remember the far-reaching power of the gospel and the broader narrative of Scripture: the redemption of peoples across all times and in every generation.
While God’s household certainly includes our own circle of Christian community, it also extends far beyond it to believers on every continent. We all share in God’s grace, united by His Spirit. This is the heart of Paul’s message in Colossians, and as we’ll also see in Philemon, it calls us to live transformed lives, lives that reflect the love of Jesus, the one who saved us and longs to offer “redemption, the gift of forgiveness” to all of humanity (Colossians 1:14; Isaiah 30:18). That is reason enough to rejoice and celebrate the reach of the gospel to our brothers and sisters from every corner of the earth.
The gospel fuels our love and passion toward the believers who are in our own lives (Colossians 1:4–5). When we pray for each other, which should be often, God brings our thoughts, motives, and actions into alignment with His own. With an attitude of thanksgiving, we should pray for the Lord’s will to be done in all things.
The good news of the gospel is also this: God has saved us from our sin and extended His redemption to people all across the globe. We rejoice over each other—not because of anything we have done but because of the gift the Father has so generously given through His Son, the Spirit given to comfort and guide us, and fellowship with one another. And because of our well-placed hope in Him (v.5), we can look forward to the day when all of God’s people, from every nation and generation, will rejoice in Jesus Christ together. As the hymn says, “What a day of rejoicing that will be!”