For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Colossians 1:9 NIV
The opening phrase "For this reason" suggests we ought to know something more. The reason Paul prayed for the believers in Colosse was because of their faith and love. The verses leading up to this passage tell us that he had heard of their faith in Christ and their love for other believers. That's why Paul prayed for them and his prayer was filled with thanksgiving.
That makes me consider my own prayers; perhaps you should do the same. When you pray, do you pray for others? And when you pray for others, are you thankful for them? We probably pray for others. Intercessory prayers are great because we lift up their needs to our Father. We are supposed to pray that way. But we are also supposed to pray prayers of thanksgiving. Paul was thankful for the believers in Colosse.
Look at the specific requests Paul made. He asked God to fill them with the knowledge of his will. Knowing God's will is a big deal - and a big challenge - for most Christians. We want to know what God has planned for us. We want to know what God wants us to do. "What is God's will?" is a question I ask and hear others ask a lot. So how do we begin to know God's will?
Paul teaches that we know God's will through spiritual wisdom and understanding. Not just any wisdom and understanding - it must be spiritual wisdom and understanding. We have to admit that the ways of the world are not the ways of the Lord. What seems to make sense from a worldly perspective often is a huge mistake. So to move forward as a Christian or a church based upon human thinking is a tragedy. We can know God's will when we apply spiritual wisdom and understanding.
Just knowing God's will seems to be the goal for many Christians. We have to go beyond knowing God's will and actually do it. The subtitle to Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and Claude King is "Knowing and Doing the Will of God." Knowing is hard enough; doing is actually the goal.
Remember that spiritual wisdom and understanding are the keys to knowing God's will. If what we do is determined based upon human wisdom and understanding, it will fail. A wise Jew advised the opponents of the early church that anything of God will succeed no matter what the opposition is, and anything of human origin will fail.