“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
This verse begins the body of the epistle. Paul begins with a prayer for the Colossians that touches all the bases of their need. This is one of the greatest prayers of the Bible.
Paul first begins with intercession for the Colossians and then moves to thanks for what God has already done for them. Ironically, Christians ask God to do the things that he has already done. We ask God to forgive us for our sins when he has already forgiven us in Christ (v. 14). We ask God to allow us to enter his kingdom when he has already done that as well (v.13). It is more proper to thank God for these things than to ask him for them.
“For this reason we also”
“This reason” is their original reception of the gospel (vv. 3-8). Paul prays for them (vv. 9-14) because of their reception to the gospel and love for all the saints.
“since the day we heard it”
They heard it from Epaphras. The news of their response to the gospel led to a prayer request. This prayer is a response to this news of their faith.
“do not cease to pray for you”
This is one of the remarkable prayers of the apostle Paul. We can find other prayers of Paul in Ephesians 1, 3, Philippians 1, 2 Thessalonians 1. When we read his prayers, we are at a high watermark of spirituality in the New Testament. We ought to be at our best in prayer. When we pray, we enter the presence of God. The white heat of that presence should melt away spiritual superficiality and sham. Pretension dissolves in God’s presence.
This is incessant prayer, but it does not mean that Paul prayed for them perpetually. It simply means that he prayed for them regularly. We should regularly pray for people (Acts 20:31; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thes. 1:2; 5:17). Many people do not cease to pray because they do not start in the first place.
Dead earnestness is essential to true prayer.
We need to seize every opportunity to pray. Prayer is the place where we fight spiritual battles. Do you have a spirit of prayer? Do you seize every opportunity to pray for people you may influence? Are we dead earnest about prayer? We believe in prayer, but we do not pray very much. We subscribe to the idea of prayer, but when we announce a prayer meeting, a minimal number of people come. We believe in prayer if an emergency lands in our lives. Otherwise, we show little interest in prayer. We are eloquent in prayer if it involves our family or our person. If it involves someone else, we are quite casual about prayer.