As you probably know (if you don’t, you will in a few seconds), I’ve been studying the book of Colossians. While I’ve read the book several times, this is the first in depth study that I’ve done.
I’ve been greatly encouraged and challenged as I’ve studied Colossians. Plus, I’ve had a few opportunities to speak to others who are studying it at the same time. (Our church will study it together beginning this weekend.)
For one thing, I love how Paul seems so real in this letter. He doesn’t seem like a super-saint (wearing his super suit). Instead, he seems like a regular person, who knows that he’s been called by God so he trusts completely in God’s ability to empower him as he works.
(By the way, I don’t think Paul seems larger-than-life in the other books of the New Testament. I think he’s presented that way by teachers at times, though.)
Consider this passage in which Paul asks the Colossians to pray for him and his team:
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison – that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:2-4 ESV)
Paul asks the Colossians to pray that he would have opportunities to speak the message of Christ to others, even while he is in prison. And, he wants them to pray that he would speak that message clearly. (Apparently, he occasionally did not present the gospel clearly, even though he knew he ought to speak it clearly.)
This is a real person with real concerns and real requests. Even the great missionary needed others to pray that he would have opportunities to share the gospel and that he would do so clearly.
If you think about it… would you pray the same for me? Thanks.