This post continues from Part One: Enjoying Your God in Prayer.
When Paul writes to the church in Colossae we see he uses the pattern of “interrupting” his instruction with a prayer, exaltation of God, or benediction. Paul had never visited this city and had not personally met these brothers and sisters. But he had heard about their faith in Christ and their love for one another from Epaphras. Near the beginning of Paul’s letter, he thanks God for the Colossians and tells them how he is praying for them. As Paul writes about what God has done through His Son, as he did to the Ephesians, he seems to break out in a song of worship right in the middle of his writing:
He is the image of the invisible God. (Colossians 1:15a)
As Paul lifts up the Lord Jesus before his readers, he glorifies Him by describing who He is, what He is like, and what He has done. Jesus is God who can be seen. We are able to know who God is and what He is like through Christ.
[T]he firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15b)
Of course, Paul is not describing Jesus as a created being. He is revealing Christ as God’s most highly exalted Son. This is the same way the Apostle John describes Jesus as God’s “only” Son (John 3:16)—unique in His eternal Person and position. In Greek and Jewish culture, the firstborn son in a family always held the preeminent position. As “the firstborn of all creation,” Jesus is preeminent over everything He created.
For by him all things were created. (Colossians 1:16a)
Paul continues to magnify Jesus Christ. He is not created. He is the creator who ranks supremely over all that exists. Everything we see has its source in the Son of God.
[I]n heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. (Colossians 1:16b)
Everything unseen was created by Jesus—from subatomic particles to the invisible spiritual realm. Paul then teaches us about the sovereignty of Christ over every kingdom throughout history. He is over every king who ever sat on a throne and every person who ever claimed authority. Every human and demonic ruler has always been subject to the One before whom every knee will bow (Philippians 2:10-11).
[A]ll things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16c)
Christ is not only the creator of all that exists, He is the recipient as well! Everything in heaven and earth was created for Him. We find our pleasure in Him because He created all things for His pleasure.
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:17)
As we read Paul’s prayer of worship that he shares with the Colossian church, we join with him in seeing Jesus more fully in His power and glory. And our eyes fill with wonder once again. He alone is preeminent and worthy of worship.
Christ is not only the source and the recipient of all that is, He is also the “glue” in the universe who holds it all together! He alone holds the planets in their orbits and keeps the stars in place. He alone binds molecules together. Christ alone holds marriages, families, and churches together. He provides the cohesive power that keeps the universe in order according to the Father’s design.
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. (Colossians 1:18)
In His preeminence, Jesus reigns as head of His Church. He is not only from the beginning, He is the beginning (John 1:1). God has designed all of time and eternity for one purpose: that His Son might reign supreme and be worshiped by every creature.
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:19-20)
In Christ lives all the fullness of our God! And because God’s fullness is in Christ, God was able, through Him, to reconcile everything to Himself. We could never reconcile God to us, but God can lift us up and reconcile us to Himself through the blood of His Son shed on the cross.
Paul returns later in his letter to this theme of the fullness of Christ:
For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10)
What a description of Jesus! Everything that God is, living in a body. We can see who God is and what He is like by looking at Jesus. We can know Him and live confidently in His love as His children through Jesus. We are filled in Him! In Christ, we have the fullness of our Father’s love, His approval, and the fullness of His power and joy.
Our relationship with our Father in prayer can express this same fullness. As we pray, we want to thank God for what He has done, bring Him our needs, and intercede for others. Then, as Paul models for us in his letters, we also can go on from there. Paul goes from teaching, to praying, to exalting his Savior, and exulting in Him. Paul clearly enjoys his God.
May the joy of God be the fountain that also carries our prayer lives far beyond the needs and concerns of this world. Let’s pray for the joy we find only in God and enjoy Him even more as we pray.
MEDITATION AND PRAYER
Father, how often I have “dragged myself into Your throne room” because I knew I ought to pray. Please cause me to run to You for the pleasure of Your presence. Call me with the joy of exalting You so I will know the same delight Paul experienced as he exalted You in his letters.
Teach me, Lord, to wonder at Your greatness and be in awe of who You are, what You are like, and the majesty of Your redeeming works. Father, let me never move from the amazement of Your mercy and grace poured out to me in Christ. My heart is filled with praise because You have designed all of time and eternity so He reigns supreme and forever receives the worship of Your angels, every creature, and every nation.
This article is an excerpt of Language of the Heart: 20 Worship Prompters and Meditations on Prayer by Bill Mills, available in paperback or eBook format in our store or on Amazon.