It’s time for Christians to take responsibility for praying. It’s the duty of the Christian, not just the pastor to pray. Pray at all times the Bible says. The Church at Colossae was a Christian church, Paul identified them as saints, they were also spiritual, they knew how to worship, they liked to sing and they liked teaching, but some heretics and false teachers had entered the Church at Colossae and were having great influence, they suggested that the better a person you were, the more God loved you and you could rise on a spiritual ladder if you could just be good enough. Paul started first by straightening out their doctrine in chapters 1-3, then he dealt with the essentials of Christian living, what a “good Christian” looked like in terms of his behavior with others, being careful to not expect good behavior until they had become a Christian, you see God doesn’t expect you to clean yourself up before you come to Him, He cleans you up by forgiving your sins as you put your faith in Him, and then we “behave” ourselves because of what He’s done. Then he gets down to business in Chapter 4 where having taken care of the doctrine and the behavioral expectations and talks about what they should do as a Christian, what was NORMAL for a Christian, one who has been saved, one who was tracking with their life, what their PURPOSE should be.
The title of the Message this morning is: THE CHRISTIAN IN PRAYER
Paul understood that Christian praying didn’t take on a lot of form, because Jesus had rebuked the Pharisees who thought they would be heard by their much speaking, on the contrary, He describes what The Christian in Prayer should do.
Evening morning and at noon will I pray and cry aloud and He will hear my voice
1. Christians in Prayer look out for trouble and thank God for blessings
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation
Pray this way, Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name
Start first by thanking God,
When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray he told them to start by saying:
Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be your name!!!!! Thank Him!!!
Lord, I thank you for Your Grace that first came to me, I thank you for the Peace that I have once I called on Your name, Thank you that I can put my hope in you no matter the situation, thank YOU that you’re watching over my family. Tell him Thank you, Devote yourselves to prayer! Keeping alert in it with thanksgiving, Staying await, being aware of your surroundings. Lord I don’t understand why we are having these problems but I thank you that you are bigger than all my problems. Lord we are headed into a dangerous area on this mission, would you extend your hand of protection over us, I thank you that You are capable
2. Christians in prayer open doors to Good News
3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
During His ministry, Jesus often withdrew and prayed to God. Prayer makes a difference.
Jesus said to the disciples, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed you could say to the mountain, be moved and it will be done, you can have whatever you ask in Prayer, throughout the Bible, God encourages believers to pray in 2 areas:
1. For deliverance
2. For open doors
When Jeremiah was in jail because of the testimony of God’s goodness, the Lord said to him,
This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it, the Lord is His name, Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.
Paul said pray that this door that is shut to the gospel may be opened. Cause those things which are not to be as though they were. Notice that Paul does not ask them to believe with His prayer, Paul encourages them all to pray! Why, because he knew the truth that James proclaimed. the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man or woman avails much
Notice the plurality of his appeal, DEVOTE YOURSELVES TO PRAYER
Do you know someone resistant to the Good News. That is a a door that is shut. Sealed up. Do you know someone antagonistic to the Gospel message? Does it seem that it is impossible.
Lanny Wolfe, the Great Christian songwriter said:
Got any rivers? You think are uncrossable? Got any mountains, you can’t tunnel through, God specializes in things thought impossible, and He will do, what no other power can do.
3. Christians in Prayer help prayers get answered with their life
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
(from New International Version)
During the Revolutionary War, a farmer whose land was close by Valley Forge returned to his house after being out in the field. He had stumbled upon George Washington and observed him praying, he commented to his wife, Honey, I think we’re going to win this war, because I’ve heard General Washington praying,