Drop files to upload.
Faithlife Corporation

Praying For Open Doors

Pastor Chad A. Miller  •  Pastor Chad
Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  35:35
0 ratings
· 16 views

A fruitful Gospel encounter involves an open door, an open heart, and an open mouth.

Files
Audio
Notes & Transcripts | Handout | Sermon Questions

Context: Colossians 4:2-6

Colossians 4:2–6 ESV

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Colossians is such a wonderful NT book. A casual reading reminds us that even in the earliest days of the Church, there were those bent on sowing error through false teaching - actively working to lead followers of Jesus away…not to mention consume the time of the Apostles in contending with error. But it’s out of this incredible strife/in response to the False Teaching that we are reminded of these truths:

Essential Truths from Colossians

Christ is the fullness of the Godhead and the one in whom the Christian is made complete
Christ is the fulfillment of ceremonial religion.
Christ is the Head of the body...when He is, you can see it in homes, personal lives that are countercultural and in the workplace. When He isn’t, useless things are held too tightly in “spiritual life”
Is Christ currently the head of my life at home...outside the home? How can I tell?
A more careful look and we see the Apostle Paul demonstrate the preeminence of Christ is one’s:
ministry integrity (Chapters 1 & 2),
commitment to sound teaching (Chap 2),
personal life (both hidden and public),
doctrinal integrity - not majoring on minors,
ethics at home and in work (Chap 3-4)
appropriately sharing Christ with those around indirectly and directly (Chap 4)
relating to leadership and congregations of other churches (Chap 4)
Greater men than I have given time to the divisions and carving up of this letter into significant courses for study and devotion. John Piper, among many, even delineates our text this morning…I find it helpful:
vv 2-4 “Our indirect involvement in the work of others - PRAYER
vv 5-6 “Our direct engagement of those outside the faith - WISDOM/GOSPEL”

1. The Way We Pray

Colossians 4:2 ESV

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Continuing - Pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17)
Persevering/Steadfast (1 Cor 15.58) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Watchful - not sleeping at the wheel (Matt 26.40)
Thanksgiving:
Into His Presence: Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; -Ps 95:2.
Entering His Gates: Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! - Ps 100:4.

2. What We Pray

Colossians 4:3 ESV

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—

Lord, Open The Door (v3 “…that God may open to us a door for the word…” )
Look for the opportunity without being opportunistic
The Opportunity can come through a myriad of ways. #TimingIsEverything…almost
Pain, Celebration, Crisis, Right Time/Right Place, QUESTION, Current Events
Lord, Open Their Hearts (v3 “…to declare the mystery of Christ…”)
The Holy Spirit must work in the hearts of those who will respond to the Gospel
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.“ -Jn 6:44.
“he (The Holy Spirit) will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:  concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer;  concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “-Jn 16:8–11.
Colossians 4:4 ESV

that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

Lord, Open My Mouth (v4 “…that I may make it clear, which how I ought to speak.” )
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” -1 Co 2:14.
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” -1 Co 2:12–13.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? -Ro 10:14.
Summary: All 3 of these are essential ingredients in a successful and fruitful Gospel encounter.
There's no use sharing without an opportunity (Open Door) to share.
If the door's not open, you can't force entry
There will be no fruit without an Open Heart touched by the Holy Spirit to be receptive to the glorious Gospel.
Everything can point to a particular moment. We can say, "surely this is it!" But a response is required.
And until someone uses words (Open Mouth), there is nothing to respond to. Nature and Conscience are not enough.
This may be the hardest for some in the room. The first word is always the hardest. Remember, we're not selling a good - a philosophy - a way of life...we are introducing them to the person of Jesus Christ - the lover of their souls.

3. What Happens When We Pray

Colossians 4:5–6 ESV

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

“The reality of Kingdom-focused praying brings a great harvest in the fields, and in our daily walk!
Results in movement of our own “Walk”
Reinforces our mission: “in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best of the time”
Regulates our speech “gracious, seasoned with salt”
Reminds us of our roles as Ambassadors for Christ “…how we ought to answer each person”

Conclusion

God invites us to pray. God commands us to pray. God loves when we pray. He loves it so much that Scripture is full of explicit and implicit instructions on how and when to pray (as well as how not to...)
If we are serious about making a Global Impact for Christ always and everywhere, if we long to see our friends and family know Jesus, if we long for peace on earth and good will toward men, IF WE LONG TO FOLLOW JESUS AND LOVE, SERVE, AND PRAY LIKE HE DID...
Then it will affect the Way we pray; What we pray (less about us and more about His Kingdom); and What happens as we pray this way!
How will this text affect the way you pray?
How will this text affect what you pray?
How will this message affect your own daily walk?

INVITATION/CALL TO RESPONSE:

1. Not a Christian:
* Are there circumstances in your life that are too important to brush off? Could the Lord be opening doors in your life so that you might come to know him and the power of His resurrection?
* The writer of Colossians was a Christian-hating, Jesus-bashing, know-it-all...until he surrendered total control of his life to Christ.
* Is your heart open today? Are you at least intrigued about coming to know a God who made you, knows everything about you...
Today is an open door - come as you are, leave different.
You're a Christian
who needs to pray specifically...
who forces entry (You earn the right be be heard by sincerely listening to others)
who has been quick to speak...but not really depending on the Spirit
who needs to see some fruit in your own life from Kingdom-focused praying
RELATED MEDIA
See the rest →
Get this media plus thousands more when you start a free trial.
Get started for FREE
RELATED SERMONS
See the rest →