“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, 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. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy” (Colossians 1:9-11 ESV).
In praying for the church at Colossae, Paul the Apostle first asked for the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will. One commentator offers an important observation regarding this portion of Scripture…
“Prayer begins by asking that we may be filled with an ever-growing knowledge of the will of God. Its great object is to know the will of God. We are trying not so much to make God listen to us as to make ourselves listen to him; we are trying not to persuade God to do what we want, but to find out what he wants us to do. It so often happens that in prayer we are really saying, ‘Thy will be changed,’ when we ought to be saying, ‘Thy will be done.’ The first object of prayer is not so much to speak to God as to listen to him.” (1)
With this in mind, the Scriptures define God’s will for us in several different areas…
Daily life: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:4-6 ESV).
Personal conduct: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV).
Interacting with those who are unwise: “…it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good” (1 Peter 2:15 HCSB).
Sexual conduct: “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 NIV).
Cultural and societal interaction: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NRSV).
Personal demeanor: “Give thanks in every situation because this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 CEB).
(1) Barclay, William. “Commentary on Colossians 1”. “William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dsb/colossians-1.html. 1956-1959.