In the text we see the motive of the apostle Paul towards his fellow Christians. He wants them to progress in their faith, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you.” So let us look at this beautiful prayer for spiritual growth.
1. Spiritual growth can only come through the Word of God: (9.a) “Asking that you be filled with the knowledge of his will.” The word filled here means completely filled, and the word knowledge here is of a deep and thorough knowledge. The Bible is the very truth that the Christian lives by. If we are going to know God’s will for our lives, we have to be in the Word of God. Look at what it says in Col.3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”
2. Only the Believer has the ability to understand and apply God’s Word in spiritual growth: (9.b) “In all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” The word wisdom here means the ability to accumulate and organize principles from Scripture, and the word understanding carries the meaning of application of those principles to daily living. Read 1 Cor.2:12-14. From these verses we see that the believer has received the Holy Spirit so he can grab hold of truth and grow deep in the Lord!
3. Applying God’s Word will result in spiritual growth:(10) “So as to walk in a manner worthly of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” The word walk here is the whole round of activities of the individual life. It should be that the Christian lives his life, every part of it to please God, and it does please God when we bear fruit for him. Remember, fruit is the by product of his righteousness and not our own. Look at what it says in John 15:8, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and prove to be my disciples.” We are not saved by works, works show proof of our faith. When we enter into the personal relationship with the Father and the Son and the Spirit, it is a relationship of love. And we keep God’s commands because of our love for Him, because He first loved us (John 15:9-11). As Christians, our desire should be to increase in the Word of God!
4. The power of God is the source of our srength in spiritual growth: (11) “May you be strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” Strengthened here signifies continuous action. Let us always turn to God for srength to live for him! Glorious refers to the manifestation of God’s attributes. And might refers to strength in action. Paul said it like this in Col.1:29, “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” Paul understood where his strength came from to live the Christian life. So we to need to turn to God for our strength, enduring to the end! So what is our prayer? Let us pray to grow strong in the Lord, from the truth in his Word, by the power of his Spirit! Amen!