Later in this letter, Paul makes clear he is writing in chains, from prison. (See chapter 4). When he declares in chapter 2 verse 1:
“How much i am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea”
Paul likely means he is struggling in prayer. That is, engaged in a type of spiritual warfare where he specifically names people and situations and claims them for Jesus Christ in the face of evil opposition. He wanted the church encouraged in heart and united in love, in order to have a deeper knowledge of Christ. (See verses 2 & 3).
I encourage you to read aloud chapter 2 verses 2 to 3, using these verses to pray substituting the church at Colossae & Laodicea for the church in Brunei. In these God-breathed words Paul anoints the church with a fantastic blessing.
Repeat the same with verses 6-7. Read them aloud now as a prayer over the church in Brunei. Afterwards use these verses as a prayer over your own life.
Praying over our church is important in the life of Christians. Paul’s gives his reasons for doing so. He prays the church would:
“Be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ.”
Conversely, if these prayers are not offered to God, there is a danger that they would not be encouraged or united or have a good understanding or know Christ deeply.
They also may become vulnerable to what he describes in verse 4 as:
Do you feel challenged yet to pray more for your church? I know I do! Using the blessings of these scriptures is a good place to start.
In verse 6 Paul encourages us to continue in Christ, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as we were taught and overflowing with thankfulness.
Are we intentionally rooting ourselves and being built up in Christ, being strengthened in the faith and overflowing with thankfulness?
There is no condition set by which we wait until life is easier and great fun before we do this. Paul prayed this while chained to a wall in prison!
If we look at influences on the church throughout the world, we see what Paul in verse 8 calls;
“hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
We sometimes allow the culture of the world around us to exert harmful influence inside the church. We always need to study the Bible and pray and draw close to Christ to prevent such harmful influences. Some of these harmful influences initially appear good or harmless but don’t contain true godliness and don’t bring us closer to our Lord.
Lastly in these verses, Paul focuses again on Christ. As Christians, our lives need to put Him at the centre. He is above all and reigns above all. We need to take the time to get to know Him in prayer, and through His Word.
Find some time every day to draw close to Him in prayer and allowing His Word to change our ideas, beliefs, attitudes, words and behaviour. As a song we sometime sings puts it, Jesus is the centre of it all. Give Him the glory right now!
Lord Jesus Christ, I declare you are the centre and ruler above all. I draw near to you this day and want to know more of You. I pray Your blessing over Your church that we may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that we may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that we may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We give thanks for this privilege! In Jesus Name. Amen.