Colossians 1:3-8 / Thankful Prayer

Posted on March 15, 2015


This is the second in a verse by verse exposition of the book of Colossians. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the evening of March 15, 2015. This message explores the role of faith and thankfulness in our prayers. This post contains an audio recording of the sermon, as well as my sermon notes (sermon notes are not necessarily a complete transcript). 


 Col. 1:3-8 


Paul has made it through the initial greeting, and now expresses both his thanksgiving and prayer.

There are four important words here:

  • Thanks
  • Praying
  • Faith
  • Love

This thanks that they gave was rendered in prayer. And thanksgiving was given because Paul had heard (from Epaphras (v.7) about their growing faith in Christ Jesus and their love… for all the saints.

Prayer here is more than words, it is an act of worship including thanksgiving and intercession.

Acts 16:25

Thanksgiving and prayer belong together, and both are an expression of faith.

We should never pray “when you answer this prayer, I’ll be thankful”. We should be thankful from the beginning, for whatever answer we might receive.

Often we will say that you have to ask in faith, but we never say faith in what. Our faith is only as good as the object of our faith, and its a dangerous thing to tell people that simple faith is enough, without defining that faith. Everyone has faith in something, so we must be specific. We must not only ask in faith, but that faith must be in Jesus Christ! Paul was careful to mention Jesus Christ as the object of their faith.

Our prayer should be filled with thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

2 Corinthians 1:8-11

Oh, how much easier it is to bless a thankful heart.

Faith in Christ should be a reason to pray and give thanks. When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we have a faith we can count on, not some pie-in-the-sky wish.

Biblical faith is real and substantial, you can count on it.

Hebrews 11:1

True faith in Christ will lead us to pray thankfully and to pray in His name, according to His will.

John 14:13-14

It are these thankful prayers, which follow the heart of God, prayed according to His word, His will and in His name that will certainly be answered.

These believers also had a heart of love for the saints. We can be sure that this was a Christ centered love, and not self-serving. Paul has described in these people, what a believer should be – thankful, praying, faithful and loving.

The believer’s hope is inseparable from his faith.

Romans 5:2

1 Peter 1:3–5

If your faith is in Jesus Christ, then your hope is also in Him. Hope in Christ is a hope that saves.

Romans 8:24

This hope is a sure thing, you can count on it, because it’s based on Jesus Christ, who is the faithful and true witness. As such it is this hope that will fill you with joy.

Romans 15:13

If your faith is not in Jesus Christ, then neither is your hope in Him. If your faith is in anything other than Christ (self, job, money, prestige, belongings, etc.), then your hope will leave you eternally disappointed.

Because faith in Christ, brings a hope which is guaranteed, is exactly why the word that reveals Him is called the Gospel, literally “good news”. This word was used in classical Greek to express the good news of victory in a battle. The gospel is the good news of Christ’s victory over Satan, sin, and death. It is good news, indeed.

The Word of God had reached these believers, and it will continue to reach throughout the world. The Gospel was never intended for an exclusive group of people; it is good news for the whole world.

Matthew 28:19-20

Mark 16:15

Despite man’s best efforts, the Word of God cannot be stopped, and will always bear fruit.

Isaiah 55:11

It is the Gospel which will lead lost souls to salvation.

Matthew 13:3-8

The seeds of the Gospel will always find some place to take root, and it is through the Gospel that we can know the truth of the grace of God.

Epaphras, who was likely the founder of the Colossian church, made sure that the love of these saints was known. Our works cannot hide our hearts forever (or at all from God). Eventually, our true nature will be known, and people will spread the news, whether good or bad.

What are you known for?

Posted in: Sermons