Useful Bible Studies > Colossians Commentary > chapter 2

Paul’s struggle in prayer

Colossians 2:1

Paul seems to say here that he had not been to Colosse, or to Laodicea. That matches what he says about Epaphras in Colossians 1:6-7 and 4:12-13. Epaphras, and not Paul, established the churches in these cities. The church in Laodicea is the subject of Christ’s letter in Revelation 3:14-22. These two cities were about 20 miles (30 kilometres) from each other.

Paul mentions his great struggle on behalf of the Christians in these places. At this time, Paul was suffering as a prisoner because of his work for God (Colossians 1:24; 4:10 and 4:18). However, Paul’s ‘struggle’ does not here mean his difficulties as a prisoner. Rather, he is referring to his experiences in prayer.

In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul describes prayer as a battle, in which we stand against the devil. Of course, we cannot do that in our own strength. We must depend completely on the strength that Christ gives. That strength comes as we declare God’s word in the situation, with right and true attitudes and complete trust in God. By that means, God gives us the power to defeat every attack of the devil. Christians are people who overcome, because of Christ’s love (Romans 8:37; Revelation 3:21, 12:11 and 21:7).

God had given Paul responsibility for many people (2 Corinthians 11:28-29). As a prisoner, Paul could not visit these people, but instead he prayed for them. He did not need to be present with those people for God to answer his prayers for them (Matthew 8:5-13; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5). So Paul and his companions were constantly praying for the Christians in different churches (1:9; 4:12). They were confident that God would hear and answer those prayers.

Next part: All God's wisdom and knowledge are in Christ (Colossians 2:2-4)


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