EM/Youth

Colossians 1:9-12, "We have not stopped praying for you"

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작성자 카마리오한인연합감리교회 작성일23-09-19 11:57 조회1,656회 댓글0건

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"We have not stopped praying for you" 

Colossians 1:9-12, 2023-0910, 

 


Have you ever written essays or papers when you were in school? Think about when you had to write short pieces of writing or papers. First, after the cover, you write a brief introduction, which is called an abstract. This provides the direction of the writing. You also write a summary. The summary outlines the content of the writing, stating the first point, the second point, and how the text will progress. Then, you delve into the main content, writing an introduction, body, and finally, conclude it. After the conclusion, you add a bibliography.

 

As we read the letter of Paul to the Colossians, we can feel that even in difficult circumstances, the content of this letter is well-organized and logical. This letter to the Colossians is no exception. It starts with a greeting of "grace and peace" in chapter 1. And if you read slowly from verse 9 to 12 in chapter 1, you will see that this content serves as an abstract of the letter, just like an introduction. Of course, it starts with the formality of "I have not stopped praying for you."

 

Although it is written in the form of a prayer, each verse conveys heartfelt prayers to God, and it contains messages that the Apostle Paul wants to convey to the saints. Therefore, while Apostle Paul may want to address the main points right away, he starts by sharing warm greetings and news about people around him. Moreover, his message delivery is also done in a gentle manner. Though there are times when Apostle Paul uses strong expressions, in many instances, he tries to understand the situations of the recipients and speaks accordingly. This means that his words, based on his understanding of the recipients' situation, are persuasive.

 

If you look at the conversation in Paul's letter, it resembles what we commonly refer to as an "I Message" in our conversations. The "I Message" conversation format, popularized by the American scholar Thomas Gordon, is a way of communicating that reduces conflicts gently. For example, if there is an issue at work, using an "I Message" might sound like this: "You worked late, right? But the work wasn't finished, so I received a lot of complaints today..." If the same message is conveyed as a "You Message," it would be:

 

"Because you didn't finish the work yesterday, do you know how difficult it was for me today?" The difference in communication styles like this is something we experience in our daily lives, both at home and at work, and the results can be quite different.

When you read from verse 9 onwards, you can see that the Apostle Paul offers his prayers as an "I Message" to God and indirectly conveys several messages to the saints. "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..."

 

While praying with a sincere heart, he indirectly conveys the following messages:

(1) May you be filled with all spiritual wisdom and understanding of God's will.

(2) May you walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the knowledge of God.

(3) May you be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might, and may you have great endurance and patience.

 

He emphasizes the importance of knowing God repeatedly. Knowing God involves insight and spiritual discernment. Although we became saints, it's difficult to claim that we believe in God without knowing His will. When we read the Bible, there is a verse from the prophet Hosea that is repeatedly emphasized. It says, "My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge." It doesn't simply mean not knowing; it means forgetting. Therefore, we must strive to know the path of salvation that God has accomplished through Jesus Christ's grace on the cross.

 

Furthermore, Paul emphasizes the faith of patience. In times of difficulty and confusion, he prayed that the believers would become a community of faith who rely on the power of the Lord, wait for the Lord's timing, endure patiently, and give thanks in His grace.

No matter how strong our faith may be, sometimes we all seek a more stable and peaceful place. However, for some, heavy crosses are placed on their shoulders at times. Even Jesus prayed in such moments. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

 

While serving with patience and thanking God in His grace, Paul prays that such a faith community will be established among the Colossians. In essence, these few verses serve as an outline for the letter to be written in the future, similar to an introduction. As we read this letter, it continues to inspire us, and it encourages us to reflect on our faith. This week, let's try to change our conversation style to a more positive one. And let's make an effort to know God, strive for patience in all things, and spend this week with gratitude."


(Rev. Lee)



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