strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience (Colossians 1:11)

If the last few days seemed like we were praying for some difficult things, that’s because we were. N. T. Wright notes that the difficulty of Colossians 1:9-10 is confirmed by verse 11, which

contributes to the total prayer the insights (a) that growth in the knowledge of God, and in holiness, is an uphill battle, and (b) that strength for this battle can only come—but will surely come—from the power of God himself.

This isn’t something we can accomplish on our own. It is only through God’s strength that we can “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10). God’s strength makes this possible because it produces in us “steadfastness and patience.” The assurance that God is sovereign and mighty results in endurance and patience, which are necessary for accomplishing the otherwise impossible.

The former is what faith, hope and love bring to an apparently impossible situation, the latter what they show to an apparently impossible person. (N.T. Wright)

Pray today that we, as individuals and as a church, would rely on God’s strength and not our own. Pray that we would operate not out of confidence in our own abilities, but confidence in God’s ability. Pray that we would be given the endurance to deal with apparently impossible situations and the patience to deal with apparently impossible people.

And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)