Tuesday, 14 March 2017
We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Colossians 1:3
This is a greeting which, even if slightly amended for the occasion, is common to Paul’s letters. In some letters, the stress is on the thanks, in others is it on the prayers. However, when he wrote his letter to the Galatians, he noticeably skipped over such a general sentiment. He had greater concerns with them that he had to deal with.
Here he notes that he and Timothy “give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” His prayers are lifted to God, who is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. As always, this in no way diminishes the deity of Christ, but rather highlights it. There is the human Jesus, and there is the Christ of God. He is the Lord Jesus Christ who issues from God the Father. It is to God the Father that their thanks are directed at this point. The reason for this specific wording will be realized as he continues on with the epistle. It is a letter which highlights the deity of Christ in a most unique way.
In their thanks, he then notes that they are “praying always for you.” Paul’s idea of “praying without ceasing,” which he penned to those in Thessalonica, is evident in words such as these to the Colossians. Whenever the thought of one of his beloved churches came to mind, he and Timothy would utter forth a prayer to God on its behalf. When they talked about one of the churches, they would probably issue forth a quick prayer of both thanks and petition for it. To them, praying was certainly a normal extension of their regular lives and conversations.
Life application: God already knows the end from the beginning. His plan is also complete in His mind. Despite this, we should not have a fatalistic view of life where we ignore prayers. Instead, God figures our prayers into the plan, just as our free-will calling on Jesus is figured into the plan. If we don’t receive Jesus, we will not be saved. Likewise, prayers that are not uttered are not heard. God’s foreknowledge of all things outside of time factors in our actions within the stream of time. Pray!
Heavenly Father, one of the beautiful things You have granted to us is the opportunity to pray. When we open our hearts to You, You hear and respond according to Your grace and mercy. And because we have Jesus as our Mediator between our prayers and Your ears, we can know that those prayers which are offered through Him are acceptable to You. And so, as we offer them to You in His name, hear and respond according to Your wisdom. Thank You that our prayers are heard because of Him. Amen.