Colossians 1:3-12, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant.[b] He is a faithful minister of Christ on your[c] behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks[d] to the Father, who has qualified you[e] to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
There are three sorts of people he prayed for: himself, for others, and for God’s glory.
So firstly, we ought to pray for ourselves. We are small, finite creatures who are dependent on God for life and breath. These prayers for ourselves should not be self-centered. We aren’t praying for maximized health and wealth. We’re not praying for easy, worry-free lives. We are praying that God would be at work in and through our lives.
Next, we ought to pray for others. Paul prayed for his friends in Colossae. Even while is prison, he might have had plenty of reason to be focused on himself, but his prayers were for his friends. These prayers were for others, asking God to be at work in and through their lives.
Lastly, we ought to pray for God’s glory. This is what we see modeled in the prayer above! As Paul prays for himself, and others, he prays that God would be the provider of these gracious for God’s sake, for His glory. And so we pray for God’s sake: that the God who made us and died for us and rose for us and rules for us and will return to us might be glorified in our lives and in our church.