September 13/Colossians 4

Verses 2-4 > Paul was a man of prayer because he knew the importance of prayer and he knew the one to whom he prayed. Imagine that we have the ear of the one who created all things with his words. Words in the hands of God can change any situation. Paul believed this. Look at how many times he requested to be prayed for.

Romans 15:30–32 (NLT) — 30 Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit. 31 Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the believers there will be willing to accept the donation I am taking to Jerusalem. 32 Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other.

2 Corinthians 1:11 (NLT) — 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

Ephesians 6:18–19 (NLT) — 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

Philippians 1:19 (NLT) — 19 For I know that as you pray for me and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me, this will lead to my deliverance.

Colossians 4:3 (NLT) — 3 Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains.

1 Thessalonians 5:25 (NLT) — 25 Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NLT) — 1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us. Pray that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you.

Philemon 22 (NLT) — 22 One more thing—please prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that God will answer your prayers and let me return to you soon.

God delights in our prayers as much if not more than we as parents delight in our children talking to us. If one our children is silent we often will ask, “What’s wrong?” How much of your day is spent in conversation with the Lord? Does he have to ask, “What’s wrong?” I believe that most people only pray when they need something or they are in a crisis situation. I’m not being critical here but how would you feel if your children treated you like a human vending machine; only coming to you when they needed something or were in a crisis situation? They put in their request and press your button and you provide. Not much of a relationship right?

When you know God you know that he is all about relationship. In Genesis 1:1 it says that in the beginning God…. The word God is plural. A little later in the chapter God says let’s make man in our image. There is great fellowship and intimacy among the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God desires the same intimacy with us. When Adam and Eve didn’t have time for God they got into trouble. When Eve was tempted to eat the fruit it would have been to her advantage and ours if she would have stopped and prayed. Jesus said:

Mark 14:38 (NLT) — 38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Prayer can keep us from sin, from making bad decisions, from wasting money, from bad relationships, etc. The one who created the world knows exactly what is best for us and we can find out this best by praying. Paul said we should devote ourselves to prayer. In other words we are to make it a priority each day. He said to have an alert mind. Don’t wait until your ready for bed at the end of the day. From my experience that prayer usually ends with me falling asleep. Being alert means that you know what you are praying and that it is important to you. If it is not important to you why should it be important to God.

Paul said that good praying includes being thankful. List some things that you are grateful for and let the Lord know. Who does your heart go out to > grateful people or ungrateful people? I know who the Lord’s heart goes out to:

Psalm 50:23 (NLT) — 23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

God’s way is the way of prayer and he will reveal to you what you need and what you need to know if you will spend time in prayer! In verses 3-4 Paul said that they should pray that he would have many opportunities to speak about Christ and that he would talk about Christ clearly. In other words pray with purpose. Don’t just pray, “God bless the missionaries.” Pray for specific areas and needs in their lives. Not sure how to pray? Learn from the Apostle Paul he was an expert pray-er:

Philippians 1:9–11 (NLT) — 9 I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. 10 For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. 11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Colossians 1:9–12 (NLT) — 9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. 11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

You might also look at Ephesians 1:15-23 and 3:14-21

 

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Paul finishes this letter as he does with most by lifting up his ministry team. He understands that ministry us a team effort. Acknowledging the team is one of Hilltops strengths also.