Paul’s Prayer for Churches

Christians should pray for one another to know God, show love, and live exemplary lives.

In Jerusalem, in the late spring of AD 58, the Apostle Paul was taken into the protective custody of the Roman government, and remained so until the summer of AD 63. From AD 61 to 63, Paul lived in his own rented house in Rome, still in the custody of the Roman government (Acts 28:16, 30-31). We have in the New Testament, four of Paul’s letters written during this time: to the Ephesians, to the Colossians, and to Philemon (summer, AD 62); and to the Philippians (spring AD 63). In this lesson, we examine Paul’s prayers for the churches in Ephesus, Philippi, and Colossae, found in the letters he wrote to these churches during his detention at Rome.

Golden Text: Colossians 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;


A. Prayer for Inner Strength

Eph 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Eph 3:15  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

Eph 3:16  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

…….Why would St. Paul feel the need to pray a prayer such as this? Because he knew the need and the outcome of being strengthened by Christ’s Spirit in the inner man. Paul knew the results of having to rely on the strength of the Spirit. By the appearance of man, Paul was doomed. He was imprisoned by rule of the Roman emperor and left all alone. But what they didn’t understand is that his writings and prayers flourished because all he had was all he needed! There are times the Lord allows us to feel total loneliness within, and feel like no one else truly understands our concerns so He can make us realize all we need is Him and His spirit.

Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

…….If we aren’t rooted and grounded in love we may as well start all the way over, ask the Lord for a refresh, and repent over and over again until we know how to love for real!

Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

…….And this is why we must love with no restraint, because love creates a “comprehension” with the ability to understand the pains of others without having to suffer the same situations. That’s love people, to be able to get down in the pit with someone and pull them to the top without trying to shine and boast yourself!

Eph 3:19  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

…….Knowing the love of Christ is to have a relationship with it. In order to be filled with the fullness of God we must be unified and compounded with the love of Christ. Notice he didn’t write “filled with some” of the fullness of God; he wrote “filled with all” of the fullness for God. It’s not Gods will for any of His children to attempt to sustain with small portions. The fullness of God will keep us full and make us conquerors! (Rom. 8:27)

B. Doxology: Praise to God

Eph 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

…….His abilities are beyond our understanding; the reason many don’t receive is because we don’t truly believe He can accomplish our desires. If He can change our desires and wash away our wickedness in a shear instant, why would He not be able to reward the prayers of the ones who love Him? He knows the desires of your heart and when they align with His it will happen in time.

Eph 3:21  Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


A. Thanks to God for Fellow Christians

Php 1:3  I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

Php 1:4  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

Php 1:5  For your fellowship (partnership) in the gospel from the first day until now;

…….Paul had a deep loving relationship with the church at Philippi because they have fought the fight of faith together. They had suffered for the sake of Christ and stood for the Gospel with Paul. Because of this Paul’s prayers were easily more intimate, making requests to the Lord for them “with joy”. Question: are you a fighter for the weak? Are you someone that can be depended on when others need a prayer to be answered? Are you one that others confide in when they need a spiritual boost?

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Php 1:7  Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

Php 1:8  For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

…….The Philippian believers had proven their faithfulness to Christ, and because of this Paul was confident God would continue His good work until the end (vs 6). Because they had fought with Paul they shared the same graces that God bestowed on Paul (vs. 7). Paul said that he longs after them all in the bowels (depths) of Jesus Christ (vs. 8). Paul desired that his prayers would reach to the deepest graces that could come from the throne room of the Lord! The greatest way to show love is to fight and stand for those in their most desperate times!

B. Prayer for Mature Christian Love

Php 1:9  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;

Php 1:10  That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Php 1:11  Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

…….The gift of Love goes beyond natural love that is acquired for others. The gift of love causes understanding and knowledge for situations that are not prepared for. Love is not unruly, neither is it offensive to others. Love conquers all things and never boasts of itself, the glory gladly points to God. Love is the entryway for all other fruits of righteousness. Without it we have nothing, but with it we can attain everything spiritual.


A. Prayer for a Worthy Manner of Life

Col 1:9  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Col 1:10  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Col 1:12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

…….The purpose of being filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding results in verses 10 and 11. Every action in life brings a consequence. When we strive to increase in the Lord, He will not leave us empty. He didn’t save us and strip away all the filth to leave us void. He removes the old with the plan to refill with the new!

B. The Reason for Thanksgiving

Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

…….Is there any greater peace than knowing that Christ changed us? To think back on the evident times when the powers of darkness held us captive, to knowing our thoughts and desires today, the comparison is out of this world. This is why I am thankful!

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