Many Christians feel great discouragement by the lack of spiritual progress in their lives. While we can gripe about the pace, regret the past, and disagree about the process, are we praying about our growth?
I know you’ve tried.
I know you’ve talked to wise sages in your life.
I know you’ve learned tips from resources.
But have you prayed?
9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.Colossians 1:9-10
Growing in Christ is hard work. While God does the heavy lifting, we are still involved. We are required to do significant work as well. That’s why we must pray to be strengthened with all the power He will give us (1:11).
What is your prayer life like? Some people only pray in moments of crisis. Others pray for conclusions that mere money or medicine could fix. What was the focus of Paul’s prayers? He kept the prayers coming for these believers so they would be “filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (1:9). The more we become filled with God’s will, the more likely we will be able to obey it.
That’s why prayer is vitally important. We do not want our growth limited to what our efforts can accomplish. We desire the change in our lives that only God can do. To pray that we may be filled with God’s will assumes that we hope to align our lives in that direction. And if we pray according to God’s will, we do not doubt He will answer those prayers. By submitting to His guidance, His will has become our will. Therefore, when we pray, we agree with God by wanting what He wants.
So, in addition to whatever may be on your prayer list, ask God to fill you with the knowledge and application of His will. If you are unsure of God’s direction, realize He doesn’t want to keep it secret. God wants you to do His will more than you desire to do His will. He’s not hiding; He is waiting to be sought. We ought to thoroughly pursue His will to please His heart fully. Only in our eager desire to hear from Him are we ready to carry out whatever He will reveal through His Word and direct through His Spirit.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.